Thomas Hale-Cusanelli, an alleged Nazi sympathizer and Army reservist who, prior to his arrest, worked as a private contractor who lived on base with a security clearance at the Naval Weapons Station in New Jersey, was convicted of five counts ranging from obstruction to disorderly conduct in the Capitol Riot case.
The jury in this case, however, did not see any footage of Hale-Cusanelli posing as an Adolf Hitler mustache. However, they were shown video, audio and social media footage, as well as text messages regarding his actions during and before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In those text messages, dated October 2020 and read aloud by government witnesses, Hale-Cusanelli had several conversations about election rigging. The texts also show that he had used several homophobic, racist, anti-black and anti-Semitic terms. He would later testify in court that he was half Jewish and Puerto Rican. In those same text messages, Hale-Cusanelli used derogatory language regarding the handwriting of Vice President Kamala Harris: “This [N-word] got votes like magic,” and wrote about how “the civil war had already begun.”
A day after Election Day, he wrote in a text message that the election was “definitely rigged”. Jurors watched the Jan. 6 video where Hale-Cusanelli proclaimed, “America First is inevitable.”
Clean-shaven, Hale-Cusanelli spoke in his own defense Thursday to proclaim to the 14-person jury that he was unaware the U.S. Congress had convened on Capitol Hill. However, earlier in the case, federal prosecutors read at length from text messages in which Hale-Cusanelli discussed the Electoral College and the belief that the election was stolen, as well as the role of lawmakers in the election, in states including Georgia, Ohio and Arizona. .
Government alleges Hale-Cusanelli used and then deleted YouTube posts in which he “offered extreme political opinions and viewpoints under the title ‘The Based Hermes Show'” and hid evidence including clothing and a mast of flag from January 6th.
The case is being presided over by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump-appointed judge who acquitted two others in the Jan. 6 cases. One of the defendants was acquitted of all charges, the other, Couy Griffin – the leader of “Cowboys For Trump” – was acquitted of one of two counts.
Hours after the partial acquittal, Griffin traveled to Hagerstown, Maryland to speak to the People’s Convoy, the now disbanded trucking convoy, where he proclaimed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be ” locked up”.
Hale-Cusanelli faces sentencing on September 16.