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Feds want alleged NJ Nazi to stay behind bars for role in Capitol Riot

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The federal government wants an Army reservist and security contractor at New Jersey’s Naval Weapons Station Earle kept behind bars for his role in the Capitol riot because of his history as a Nazi sympathizer, including parading around wearing a “Hitler” mustache, and his support for civil war, according to court papers.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli had a “secret” security clearance for his work at the Colts Neck Navy base, but he made his political leanings known to co-workers.

Court papers say Hale-Cusanelli frequently made anti-Semitic and anti-minority jokes and comments to colleagues. One Naval petty officer told investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that he constantly talked about Jewish people, and remembered him saying, “Hitler should have finished the job.”

Another colleague from the Navy remembered Hale-Cusanelli stating that “Jews, women and blacks were on the bottom of the totem pole.” And a work supervisor said Hale-Cusanelli drew a reprimand for wearing a “Hitler mustache” to work, according to court papers filed Friday.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli flashing the white supremacist sign.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli flashing the white supremacist OK sign.
DOJ

Investigators found multiple photos of Hale-Cusanelli sporting the distinctive ‘stache on his phone, which they submitted to the US District Court for the District of Columbia Friday.

“Defendant’s affinity for Hitler and the Nazi party went far beyond facial hair, however,” the court papers say, providing multiple other photos from his phone depicting hostility toward Jews. One image is a cartoon depicting the Nazi Party as the savior of white Americans from the Republic (sic) and Democratic parties,” the court papers said. Other images showed animosity toward Black people, including George Floyd, whose killing by Minneapolis police officers set off worldwide protests last summer.

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The government acknowledged in the filing that Hale-Cusanelli’s political leanings aren’t enough to keep him in custody. However, court papers said, statements he made to investigators “make it clear that his ideology is the driving force behind his stated desire for a civil war. Given that defendant’s desire for a civil war makes him a danger to the community, this Court can and must consider defendant’s ideology within the context of his dangerousness.”

The feds also accused Hale-Cusanelli — who faces a raft of charges stemming from his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the nation’s Capitol, though none include violent acts — of trying to destroy evidence in the case. He is accused of deleting his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, all of which he used to share photos and videos of the insurrection, before he was arrested.

He also deleted videos posted to his “Based Hermes Show,” on YouTube, hid the suit and tie he wore during the raid, and told investigators from the NCIS that he planned to destroy other evidence so he wasn’t arrested with it, Friday’s filing said.

Hale-Cusanelli also submitted a letter of support from a colleague, which claimed that he had been “slandered in the press” by being called a “white supremacist,” but that the colleague had never heard distasteful jokes or language. But the same colleague, Sgt. John Getz, told the opposite story when he spoke with NCIS investigators, court papers said. Getz made no attempt to reconcile the contrary depictions.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli appears during a virtual hearing in a New Jersey court in January.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli appears during a virtual hearing in a New Jersey court in January.
Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

Hale-Cusanelli was arrested Jan. 15. NCIS investigators interviewed 44 colleagues on Jan. 20 and 21, and 34 agreed that Hale-Cusanelli had openly stated pro-Nazi views.

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