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Alleged Nazi sympathiser Timothy Hale-Cusanelli sentenced to four years in prison for role in US Capitol attack

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A man accused of being a Nazi sympathiser has been sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, was sentenced in the District of Columbia on Thursday on felony and misdemeanour charges stemming from his actions during the January 6 attack, the US Justice department said.

In May, the New Jersey man was found guilty by a federal jury of all five counts he faced, including obstruction of an official proceeding.

Hale-Cusanelli is a former member of the US Army Reserves who worked as a Navy contractor with a “secret” security clearance and access to weapons, prosecutors said.

An informant told investigators Hale-Cusanelli was “an avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathiser” who had posted online videos espousing extreme political opinions, the Justice Department alleged in court filings.

Video footage from the riot showed Hale-Cusanelli yelling at police officers outside the Capitol and entering the building.

Rioters gather before the Capitol with flags with smoke bombs.
Donald Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.(AP: John Minchillo)

Thousands of supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in a failed bid to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

The attack followed months of false claims by Mr Trump that he had won the 2020 election.

Hale-Cusanelli’s lawyer argued his client did not realise Congress was counting electoral votes on the day of the attack, and therefore lacked a criminal intent.

The Justice Department said it had arrested more than 870 people for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, including over 265 who were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

Earlier this month, retired New York Police Department officer Thomas Webster was sentenced to a record 10 years in prison for using a metal flagpole to assault an officer during the attack. 

In August, former police sergeant Thomas Robertson and Guy Reffitt, an associate of the far-right Three Percenters militia, were each sentenced to seven years and three months in prison.

Proud Boys associate Joshua Pruitt was sentenced to four years and seven months in prison for his actions during the attack.

Mark Ponder, who attacked police officers with poles, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison in July. 

Reuters/ABC

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