An American army reservist who was openly antisemitic, was an avowed antisemite and wore a moustache styled after Adolf Hitler was given a four-year prison sentence on Thursday after being found guilty of helping attack the US Capitol on January 6 2021.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, received his punishment at Washington DC’s federal courthouse about four months after a jury found him guilty of obstructing the congressional session held on the day of the Capitol siege to certify Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Jurors also convicted him of a series of misdemeanors, including breaking into a restricted federal building as well as disorderly and disruptive conduct, and at sentencing the judge presiding over his case determined that he obstructed justice during his trial by lying under oath, US justice department prosecutors said in a statement.
Hale-Cusanelli’s sentence is on the harsher end of punishments handed out to people convicted in connection with the Capitol attack. The longest, at least so far, has been seven years and three months.
Prosecutors wanted Hale-Cusanelli’s judge, Trevor McFadden, to sentence him to more than six years in prison.
Many paid particular attention to the case against Hale-Cusanelli because – in addition to his role in the army – he was a navy contractor who posted antisemitic rants on YouTube, spoke enthusiastically of a coming “civil war” that would tear America apart, and carefully trimmed his moustache to resemble the one worn by Hitler, the Nazi leader who ordered the murders of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.
Prosecutors said Hale-Cusanelli joined the mob of Trump supporters who descended on the Capitol in a desperate attempt to prevent the congressional certification of Biden’s electoral college win. He was among the first rioters to enter the Capitol, ordered others to “advance” with him and harassed police officers trying to protect the facility, yelling to them about a “revolution” during his 40 minutes in the building.
Authorities later arrested Hale-Cusanelli after he bragged to a friend about how “exhilarating” it was to be in the Capitol, outlined his vision of a “civil war” and declared that “the blood of patriots and tyrants” would refresh the metaphorical tree of liberty. He became one of dozens of former or active military members investigated or charged with the Capitol attack – which a bipartisan Senate report linked to seven deaths – and was banned from the naval weapons station where he worked and held a “secret” security clearance.
As of this week, a total of more than 870 other people had been charged with roles in the deadly assault on the Capitol, prosecutors said.
Hale-Cusanelli apologized to Congress and law enforcement ahead of his sentencing, saying, “I disgraced my uniform and I disgraced my country,” according to NBC News.