A federal judge in Washington ruled today that past anti-Semitic comments made by a New Jersey man, awaiting trial for his participation in the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, can not be used in his upcoming trial.
In a pre-trial conference held Friday morning, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said prosecutors could provide evidence that Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a Colts Neck resident, had wished for a civil war and wanted to “purge Congress,” but that statements about his racial beliefs and alleged fondness for Nazis would be cumulative and unduly prejudicial.
“The visceral reaction to the defendant’s statements is exactly the kind of response that could induce the jury into finding him guilty,” McFadden said.
In the criminal complaint filed against Hale-Cusanelli last year, prosecutors said that he bragged to an informant about his participation in the riot, and additionally took video of himself inside the building. The complaint states that Hale-Cusanelli is an “avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer who posts video opinion statements on YouTube proffering extreme political opinions and viewpoints.”
Hale-Cusanelli worked as a contractor at the Navy Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County before being arrested.
According to reports, one former colleague of Hale-Cusanelli told investigators he recalled the suspect telling him that if he was a Nazi “he would kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast.”
While most of Hale-Cusanelli’s videos have been removed from major platforms, TLS staff viewed a video posted by the individual in April of this year in which he rails against and spews anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and statements against Lakewood’s Orthodox Jews. The contents of the video, being vile and repugnant, will not be shared on this platform.
Sources have also told TLS that Hale-Cusanelli was a regular poster on Jackson Strong and Rise Up Ocean County, both anti-Semitic groups, with RUOC having been targeted by Governor Phil Murphy and former Attorney General Gurbir Grewal for the hate spewed by its members. TLS has not yet been able to independently verify this claim.
TLS also previously reported that Hale-Cusanelli made donations to CUPON, an organization devoted to making it difficult for Orthodox Jews to move into new towns, and that one of its leaders, Elenor Hannum, has not returned his donation, choosing rather to hide his identity on the online fundraising page.
In the Friday conference, Judge McFadden also denied a motion from Hale-Cusanelli to dismiss the most serious counts against him.
He has been charged with seven counts, including obstructing Congressional proceedings, civil disorder, and disorderly conduct at the Capitol
The trial is scheduled to begin May 23.