A New Jersey man with alleged ties to Nazism was convicted of his actions during the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol after claiming to be unaware of Congress under that large dome.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a former Army reservist, caught the eye of the jurors in Washington DC when he claimed he had some familiarity with the building where he and dozens of Donald Trump loyalists landed to stop the certification of the 2020 election. , but according to CNN did not know any specifics.
“I thought there were several buildings called ‘Capitol Building,'” Hale-Cusanelli said Thursday. “I didn’t realize Congress was meeting in the Capitol.”
However, Hale-Cusanelli, who was convicted Friday of five charges against him, confessed that he had attended lectures in American history and understood the function of the Electoral College. The defendant reportedly heard the attackers tell them to “move forward” during the violent uprising, with some in the crowd calling for the killing of the vice president, who was hiding in the Capitol.
He was also reportedly charged with using a sexist slur to humiliate a female law enforcement officer who was defending elected officials under siege.
Jurors were notified of text messages in which Hale-Cusanelli made anti-Semitic claims. Dozens of people who had served in the military with him gave interviews in which they claimed to have heard Hale-Cusanelli express similar feelings. A former roommate of 32-year-old Colts Neck, NJ, took him in and said that after January 6, 2021, Jews “had President Biden under control.” worn by Adolf Hitler.
Hale-Cusanelli said he understands this kind of rhetoric is “offensive”, but claimed he is half-Jewish and engages in “self-blaming humor”.
NPR reports that Hale-Cusanelli watched Donald Trump’s speech before the Capitol attack and believed the former president when he said he would join the protesters as they made their way to Capitol Hill. Hale-Cusanelli will be sentenced in September.