TOMS RIVER, NJ – A self-described white supremacist, former U.S. Army reservist who was arrested during the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection is scheduled to go on trial on May 23rd in federal court.
Timothy-Hale Cusanelli who has is alleged to have deep ties to local residents in Ocean County who have been protesting the large influx of Orthodox Jewish residents in the Lakewood, Toms River, and Jackson Township region is facing charges for Civil Disorder; Aiding and Abetting; Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Impeding Ingress and Egress in a Restricted Building; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.
Hale made national headlines as one of the top offenders during the Capitol breach after it was learned that he was a Department of Defense contractor and a U.S. Army reservist who had posted pictures of himself with an Adolf Hitler style mustache, performing a Nazi sig-heil salute.
According to Capitol Breach Discovery, Coordinator Emily Miller Hale’s case is more unique than most of the other Capitol breach defendants in that they now have ‘voluminous’ amounts of discovery evidence and digital documents that had to be prepared for trial.
Hale was once a member of a now-banned Ocean County Facebook group that has financial ties to the Ocean County and Toms River GOP where locals gathered to discuss the growth of the Orthodox Jewish community across the county. The leader of that organization claimed he had previously removed Hale from the group for being too extreme.
The Department of Justice is seeking to make the case that Hale was not only an insurrectionist but was also involved in spreading anti-Jewish propaganda throughout the Jersey Shore, according to sources inside the Department of Justice.
Hale-Cussanelli, at the time of the breach, was a contractor working at the Earl Naval Weapons Facility and had secret government security access.
Investigators later found copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and William Luther Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, a book that is alleged to have inspired Oklahoma City terrorist bomber Timothy McVeigh. Due to the evidence collected during the federal investigation into Hale-Cusanelli, he was ordered to remain in prison until his trial, one of the few Capitol breach suspects denied pre-trial release.
The U.S. Appellate Court determined that Hale-Cussanelli posed a major risk to the public and was a risk to create a future danger to the public based on videos he posted on social media and conversations he had with friends and co-workers regarding his hatred for Jews.
With Ocean and Monmouth Counties having one of the largest concentrations of Jewish and Orthodox Jewish populations in America, the judge ruled that he should not be released from prison.
This week, the government filed a motion to protect the identity of a key witness, to allow the testimony of that witness to be identified instead, by a pseudonym.
In April, Hale-Cusanelli’s defense team requested the court changes the venue of his trial, claiming the court would be unable to find an impartial jury in the District of Columbia federal District Court.
In a 2021 internal investigation by the U.S. Navy internal investigation into Hale-Cusanelli, investigators said they interviewed 44 of his co-workers. 34 of them testified that he held extremist or radical views pertaining to Jewish people, minorities, and women.
According to a CNN report, “Colleagues told Navy investigators that Hale-Cusanelli made near-daily comments against Jews, advocated for killing newborn babies with disabilities, and had “issues with women,” according to court filings. Prosecutors said they found racist memes on his phone, including one with the n-word, one that compared Black people to animals, and one insulting George Floyd.”
One Naval officer claims Hale-Cusanelli said, “Hitler should have finished the job.”
He was also spoken to by Navy officials after he showed up for work at the base with a Hitler-style mustache, investigators learned.
His defense lawyers say the evidence gathered about his hatred toward Jews, minorities, women, immigrants, and Muslims should not be permissible in court for the charges he is facing related to the Capitol incursion.
“Mr. Hale-Cusanelli is charged with crimes stemming from entering and remaining on Capitol grounds, principally offenses analogous to trespass,” Jonathan Zucker said in a court filing. “He is not charged with crimes of violence nor destruction. He never assaulted nor threatened anyone.”
Instead, Zucker claims Hale-Cusanelli’s comments were political in the discussions involving the local Orthodox Jewish population where he lives and not a threat to that community.
At least one co-worker vouched for Cusanelli in a letter to the court saying the depiction of him being Nazi by the press was not accurate.
“Sir or Ma’am, I am writing to you today regarding Timothy Hale-Cusanelli. I have known Mr. Hale for a little over two years. In that time, I served as his supervisor at Naval Weapon Station Earle for the past year and a half. I was appalled at how he was slandered in the press in regards to him being a “white supremacist”. I have never known him to be this way. I know that our co-workers would agree,” John Getz wrote. “As a Sergeant First Class and a Platoon Sergeant in the United States Army, I would be proud to have someone like Mr. Hale serve under me in any of my units.”
Last fall, Hale-Cusanelli was demoted and discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves.
Lawyers for Hale-Cusanelli are seeking to restrict the prosecution’s case from linking his online diatribes against Jews from the federal court case as irrelevant to the charges he faces. The discovery conducted by the FBI could further tie Hale to local residents who were members of the social media groups aligned against the Orthodox Jewish communities in Lakewood and surrounding towns.