Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a Jan. 6 Capitol rioter who had previously imitated Hitler, attacked Jews in online posts, and subsequently told jurors he didn’t know what the Capitol building was, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison.
A jury found Hale-Cusanelli guilty of one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding and four misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, parading in the Capitol and entering a restricted building.
Jurors who found Hale-Cusanelli guilty said they found his testimony “contradictory” and didn’t believe his claim that he didn’t know Congress met at the Capitol.
Prosecutors said Hale-Cusanelli spent the weeks leading up to Jan. 6 following Trump’s claims of voter fraud, and in multiple texts, he outlined the process for states to send faithless electors to Congress, which could allow then-VP Pence to overturn the election results.
The texts also included anti-Semitic and racist slurs aimed at Democrats, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris.
Inside the Capitol itself, video footage showed Hale-Cusanelli making his way to the Visitor’s Center, where he attempted to wave in other rioters through a skylight.
“I know this sounds idiotic, but I’m from New Jersey,” he said in his defense. “In all my studies, I didn’t know there was an actual building that was called the ‘Capitol.’ It’s embarrassing and idiotic.”
Jurors didn’t buy it.