Judge Trevor McFadden ordered Timothy Hale-Cusanelli to remain in custody as he awaits trial for charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots citing concerns his "near-Nazi racist ideology" may escalate to violence. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
March 23 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a U.S. Army reservist known as a white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer among his colleagues to remain in custody as he awaits trial for charges related to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Judge Trevor McFadden said that while Timothy Hale-Cusanelli was not charged with committing violence during the insurrection, he remains a threat to the public due to his "odious" beliefs.
"There is substantial evidence here that for a number of years the defendant has apparently had kind of a near-Nazi racist ideology that has led him to use racist language, sexist language, has been generally engaged in hateful conduct, if not necessarily violent conduct toward a number of people with whom he's had contact," McFadden said. "Having said all that, we don't typically penalize people for what they say or think."
Hale-Cusanelli has been in jail since he was arrested in January and pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment including a felony charge of obstructing congressional proceedings.
His case gained national attention after prosecutors revealed white supremacist material stored on his phone and posted to his social media, as well as records that he was admonished by his superiors for wearing a Hitler-style mustache to work.
Navy investigators interviewed 44 of his colleagues after his arrest and the vast majority indicated they identified Hale-Cusanelli as a white nationalist with anti-Semitic views.
Prosecutors noted police reports from last year in which Jewish people accused Hale-Cusanelli of harassment and expressed concern that he might seek out an informant who gave information about him to the FBI.
McFadden said the language exhibited by Hale-Cusanelli "goes beyond racist, but suggests violence" toward people who are not like him.
Hale-Cusanelli's lawyer stated the fact that he had a Black roommate indicated he could coexist peacefully with racial minorities, despite his "repugnant" views on race and noted that he was trusted to carry a firearm daily while at the Navy base where he never used it improperly.
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo