Army reservist — and Capitol rioter — Timothy Hale-Cusanelli was kicked out of the military in June because of his involvement in the violence at the Capitol, a new report has revealed. He is not the only member of the military to have been charged for participating in the violence, but he is the first known military member to be kicked out of the Armed Forces over their role in the attack. Hale-Cusanelli’s time in the military, which for now has drawn to an end, stretched across 12 years. Now, he is in custody ahead of his trial on charges including obstruction of an official proceeding, which is a felony offense that can come with up to 20 years in prison (although much lower sentences are possible).
Hale-Cusanelli’s attorney, Jonathan Crisp, indicated to The Washington Post that he and his client would be seeking the now ex-soldier’s reinstatement in the military. The form of discharge from the military to which Hale-Cusanelli was subjected “severely limits benefits and resources otherwise available to military veterans,” the Post explains. Hale-Cusanelli’s concern-warranting behavior, though, extends even beyond his participation in the January assault on the Capitol. While on the job as a civilian security contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey, a full 34 of his colleagues described him as holding “extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities and women,” according to prosecutors. He also had what was described as a “Hitler mustache” at work.
The allegations regarding his on-the-job behavior are not trivial. One sailor, for instance, said that he heard Hale-Cusanelli say that “he would kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he wouldn’t need to season them because the salt from their tears would make it flavorful enough.” His participation in the riot adds to the breadth of the extremism that showed up there. For instance, Confederate flags were also present — including inside of the Capitol building, and far-right militia groups like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters are also tied to the violence through the participation of particular members.
Hundreds and hundreds of Trump supporters have been criminally charged by federal authorities for their participation in the Capitol violence, and while significant numbers have accepted plea deals, most defendants haven’t taken such a step. Also, many plea deals have involved those charged with lesser crimes, as opposed to charges like conspiracy. Thus, trials remain on the horizon — in Hale-Cusanelli’s case, his trial is apparently set for May of next year. The first trial tied to the Capitol riot is set, for now at least, to take place next month in the case of rioter Guy Reffitt, whose criminal charges include obstruction of justice because of threats of violence that he made against members of his family in an attempt to pressure them into helping keep his riot participation quiet.