Sep 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Avowed Nazi sympathizer sentenced to 4 years over role in Jan. 6 riot

The U.S. Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot in 2021.

The U.S. Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot in 2021. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, an avowed Nazi sympathizer and white supremacist who served in the U.S. Army reserves, to four years in prison for storming the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, according to the Department of Justice.

Why it matters: Hale-Cusanelli's case received attention from the military because of his reservist status at the time and his employment as a security contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey, where he had a security clearance and access to a variety of munitions.

At his sentencing trial on Thursday, the court also found that Hale-Cusanelli, 32, from Colts Neck, New Jersey, had obstructed justice during the trial when he made certain statements under oath, which enhanced his sentence.

  • He was found guilty of five criminal charges in a federal trial in May, including a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding.
  • Hale-Cusanelli claimed he did not know Congress convened at the U.S. Capitol while on the stand in the trial, according to NBC News.
  • He will be under three years of supervised release after the prison sentence and must also pay $2,000 in restitution, the judge ruled.

The big picture: In a statement of facts provided by an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in January 2021, the agent said Hale-Cusanelli described himself as "a white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer" during a meeting six days after the riot.

  • Federal prosecutors said in a filing in March 2021 that an NCIS investigation into Hale-Cusanelli revealed that 34 of his interviewed colleagues agreed that he held “extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities and women.”
  • One of the colleagues said he had at one point "shaved his facial hair into a 'Hitler mustache,'" and prosecutors extracted photos of the alleged mustache from his phone.

By the numbers: The DOJ said Thursday more than 870 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, and over 265 have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

Go deeper: Jan. 6 witness receives probation, no prison time

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