Capitol riot suspect and former Army reservist now faces fewer charges
nj.com March 15, 2022
(Tribune News Service) — Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, the former Army reservist who worked as a security guard at a Naval base when he was charged with being at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, has been re-indicted by a federal grand jury and faces two fewer crimes.
Hale-Cusanelli, 31, remains jailed in Washington, D.C., awaiting trial on five crimes, which a grand jury returned last week. They accuse him of disorderly conduct, obstructing an official proceeding and unlawfully parading in the Capitol.
Shortly after his arrest in January last year, a grand jury had indicted Hale-Cusanelli on seven crimes. He no longer faces crimes that accuse him of civil disorder/aiding and abetting, as well as impeding egress in a restricted building.
His lawyer, Jonathan W. Crisp, said his client is now a “less involved person,” but declined to elaborate on the new indictment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is prosecuting Jan. 6 cases, declined to comment on the new indictment, saying it’s policy not to do so while cases are being tried.
At his latest court hearing, in February, attorneys discussed a possible trial in May of this year.
Of the roughly 30 Capitol suspects with ties to New Jersey, Hale-Cusanelli is one of three who remains jailed pending trial. The others are Julian Khater and Christopher Quaglin.
Last year, federal prosecutors successfully fought to keep Hale-Cusanelli jailed, arguing several times in court he is a white supremacist and anti-Semite and a danger to the community — specifically to the predominantly Hasidic Jewish community in Lakewood, not far from his home.
He’s worn his mustache like Hitler and wishes for a civil war in the country, and at the Capitol, prosecutors say he was inside the Capitol and encouraged the rioters to advance on police with hand signals.
His defense attorneys have argued in response that Hale-Cusanelli has not been charged with any specific violence at the Capitol, and even wore a suit and tie that day. His crimes were only words, repugnant as they may be.
And, he has a good support system in New Jersey if released, his lawyers pledged.
Hale-Cusanelli was a contracted security officer at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck when arrested and was living in base housing. He was also a U.S. Army reservist at a unit based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst in Burlington County.
He was banned from the Naval base following his arrest and discharged from the military later in 2021.
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