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You are here News Politics Former Army Reservist and alleged white supremacist found guilty in Capitol riot trial

Former Army Reservist and alleged white supremacist found guilty in Capitol riot trial

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Capitol attack

A former Army reservist and security guard at a Naval weapons station was found guilty on all counts for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Prosecutors portrayed Timothy Hale-Cusanelli of New Jersey as an extremist, who hoped for a second "civil war." The government presented evidence of Hale-Cusanelli using racist, antisemitic and anti-gay slurs, yelling obscenities at officers protecting the Capitol, and later enthusiastically boasting about breaching the building to a roommate. As jurors heard at trial, that roommate was secretly wearing a recording device on behalf of investigators with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the FBI.

Hale-Cusanelli's defense did not dispute that he entered the building. As the defendant himself put it when he testified in his own defense, "I should not have been there." Instead, the defense argued that Hale-Cusanelli was prone to making "bombastic," "offensive," and "extreme" comments, which generally amounted to more talk than action. He was not charged with assaulting police or causing property damage. The defense also argued that Hale-Cusanelli did not travel to Washington with the specific goal of storming the Capitol, let alone disrupting the electoral count. Hale-Cusanelli testified that he could not have intended to disrupt Congress that day, because he did not realize that the Capitol was where Congress met.

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