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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Trial of a US Army reservist for assault on the Capitol

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — A U.S. Army reservist who worked at a Navy base participated in the Capitol storming because he wanted to spark a civil war and “start a society from scratch,” the prosecutor said at the start of the trial.

However, one of the lawyers told the jury that Timothy Hale-Cusanelli participated in the uprising because of “social pressure” and “a desire to be heard.”

Hale-Cusanelli, a native of New Jersey, should not have entered the legislative headquarters on Jan. 6, 2021, defense attorney Jonathan Crisp acknowledged in opening arguments.

“But the question of why it was there is what matters,” Crisp added.

Hale-Cusanelli is accused of obstructing the joint session of Congress called to certify the electoral victory of President Joe Biden. He is not accused of any violent act or destruction of property.

Assistant District Attorney Kathryn Fifield released a video showing Hale-Cusanelli yelling profanity at the House Guards and exclaiming “The revolution will be televised!”

“This was not a peaceful protest,” Fifield said.

In court documents, prosecutors cited statements by co-workers that Hale-Cusanelli was a white supremacist, Nazi sympathizer and Holocaust denier who came to work with a Hitler-esque mustache. On his cell phone, the prosecution found photos of him with the distinctive mustache and pro-Nazi caricatures.

It’s hard to know how much of that evidence will be admitted at trial. In his initial introduction, Fifield referred only briefly to Hale-Cusanelli’s anti-Semitic views.

Crisp has argued that any testimony about Hale-Cusanelli’s views on the Jewish people would be “highly biased and devoid of judicial value.”

Crisp admitted that Hale-Cusanelli believed then-President Donald Trump’s lies that he won the election, but noted that he went to Washington intending to protest peacefully, noting that while other insurgents wore combat gear, Hale-Cusanelli wore a suit.

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