Former U.S. Army reservist, NJ native, convicted of Jan. 6 riot

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A Navy sailor said Hale-Cusanelli told him “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 of their tears would make it quite tasty,” according to prosecutors. Other colleagues recalled that Hale-Cusanelli made disparaging remarks about women, blacks and other minorities, prosecutors said.

Prior to trial, Crisp argued that any testimony about Hale-Cusanelli’s alleged statements about the Jewish people and their role in the US government would be “highly prejudicial in nature without substantial value.”

Crisp acknowledged that Hale-Cusanelli should not have entered the Capitol building.

“But the question of why he was there is what is important,” he told jurors on Tuesday.

Hale-Cusanelli has not been charged with engaging in violence or destruction of property. He was charged with five counts: obstructing official process, entering or staying in a restricted building or property, disorderly or destructive conduct in a restricted building or property, disorderly conduct in a Capitol and parade, demonstration or picketing in a Capitol. building.

The obstruction charge is a felony. The rest are misdemeanors.

Crisp said Hale-Cusanelli believed then-President Donald Trump’s false claims about a stolen election. But the defense attorney said Hale-Cusanelli traveled to Washington to protest peacefully, wearing a suit while many others wore tactical gear.

Video captured Hale-Cusanelli shouting profanity at police officers and shouting, “The revolution will be televised!

“It was not a peaceful protest,” Assistant US Attorney Kathryn Fifield said.

More than 800 people have been charged with Capitol crimes resulting from the riot. Many of them are then military veterans. Hale-Cusanelli is among the few defendants who were on active duty on January 6.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, who presided over Hale-Cusanelli’s trial, ruled on two other Capitol riot cases after hearing evidence without a jury. McFadden acquitted one of the defendants of all charges and partially acquitted the other after bench trials.

Hale-Cusanelli was arrested less than two weeks after the attack and has remained in jail since February 2021. He was discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves and banned from the naval base following his arrest.

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