The Justice Department said Friday that a Nazi sympathizer who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 poses a threat to Jewish residents in his native New Jersey and therefore shouldn’t be released from jail.
The alleged Capitol rioter, Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, was a well-known Nazi sympathizer at the Navy base where he worked in New Jersey. A federal judge ordered him detained last month while he awaits trial, but he has filed new motions with the court seeking his release.
Opposing those requests, federal prosecutors told the judge that Hale-Cusanelli poses a danger to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, which is near the Navy base where he worked before his arrest.
“Defendant poses a more localized threat to the community, particularly the Hassidic community in Lakewood, New Jersey,” federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing. “Defendant has demonstrated specific animosity towards the Jewish population and expressed a desire to commit violence against Jewish people.”
At previous court hearings, prosecutors mentioned some run-ins that Hale-Cusanelli apparently had last year with Jewish residents in the area, prompting police reports and allegations of harassment and doxing.
Judge Trevor N. McFadden has not yet weighed in on Hale-Cusanelli’s new request for release.
Hale-Cusanelli, 30, was charged with seven criminal counts, including obstructing congressional proceedings, civil disorder and disorderly conduct in the Capitol.
He has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers have repeatedly insisted that he is not a member of any White supremacist organizations. When he was interviewed by the FBI, he denied that he was a Nazi sympathizer, according to court filings.
Earlier this week, Hale-Cusanelli’s lawyers pushed back on allegations that he is a White supremacist by pointing out that “his father and his father’s family are of Puerto Rican origin.” They also argued in court papers that he no longer poses a threat to the informant that helped investigators secure his arrest, because the informant apparently moved across the country and no longer resides in New Jersey.