At the Barricades: Newly Discovered Video Depicting Timothy Hale-Cusanelli

Last week, I reluctantly argued that Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a Nazi-sympathizer, may have been overcharged and based on that detained for four months.

I think it likely that DOJ has made an error, of another sort, with Nazi sympathizer Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, detaining him for four months based off a mistaken belief he played a more important role in January 6 violence than he did.

Hale-Cusanelli was arrested on January 15, three days after a co-worker of his, who was already an NCIS informant, alerted the FBI that Hale-Cusanelli took part in the riots and had, in the past, espoused fairly extreme white supremacist views. On January 14, the informant recorded Hale-Cusanelli describing giving hand signals to the mob and taking a flag that Hale-Cusanelli described as a “murder weapon” to destroy.

Hale-Cusanelli’s arrest warrant, which charged him with the misdemeanor trespassing charges everyone gets charged with along with a civil disorder charge, included no video from the day of the attack. When the government indicted him, they added obstruction charges and abetting.


But the accompanying discovery summary in fact seems to confirm what Zucker has said: he has received no or next to no surveillance video of his client in the Capitol, and what he has gotten appears to pertain primarily to a different person he represents (Zucker also represents Jerod Wade Hughes and Thomas Webster, and did represent Dominic Pezzola for a period).


This guy has absolutely loathsome views. But they are views protected by the First Amendment — and also views shared by a goodly percentage of the other January 6 defendants, many of them out on personal recognizance. The others who, like Hale-Cusanelli, were of particular concern to the government because they held clearance on January 6 also engaged in physical assault — and Freddie Klein was released even after that. As I noted, the government spent two months confirming details of active duty Marine, Major Christopher Warnagiris’ far more important conduct from the day before arresting him, and then let him out on personal recognizance.

While the government has provided evidence that he did intend to obstruct the vote count, nothing in his conduct from the day substantiates the civil disorder challenge. Yesterday, Fifield asked for two more months to find that evidence.

The other day, Hale-Cusanelli had a court hearing to discuss two things: replacing Jonathan Zucker, and speedy trial waiver. The hearing started with Judge Trevor McFadden granting the request for a new lawyer. And based partly on having just obtained a new lawyer, McFadden granted some of the government’s request for another month continuance.

That is, by changing lawyers, Hale-Cusanelli relieved the pressure on the government to substantiate the case against him immediately (though he is appealing his detention so will get that opportunity before the DC Circuit).

That said, in the discussion of swapping lawyers, Zucker explained that a video he had just received presented the bulk of the evidence against his client (and seemed convinced that it was substantial evidence).

While it may not be the same video, a researcher found a YouTube that depicts Hale-Cusanelli, working in concert with the most organized of the insurrectionists, moving police barriers.

This is the kind of evidence that, against other defendants, has substantiated the 231 civil disorder charges that I had previously expressed skepticism about. So I retract my concern that Hale-Cusanelli is overcharged.

Note, this is also a testament to something I’ve pointed out elsewhere: While there’s this sense that all the video from the event has created a panopticon of the event, one the participants contributed to, there are gaps in that panopticon, particularly where insurrectionists were battling Capitol Police who (unlike MDP officers) were not equipped with Body Worn Cameras the day of the event. Plus, the scaffolding set up for the inauguration may have obscured some other actions.

35 replies
  1. dadidoc1 says:

    Not sure why, but the song “Eidelweiss” popped into my head after reading this account. Thanks for the excellent work Dr. Wheeler.

    • person1597 says:

      Eeek! Not that earworm! More like Al Bundy singing “Who’s that riding in the sun?
      Who’s the man with the itchy gun?
      Well, who’s the man who kills for fun?
      Psycho Dad, Psycho Dad, Psycho Dad!”

      • Ravenclaw says:

        You would rather hear “Tomorrow belongs to me,” maybe? A truly toxic earworm.

        When my (leftist) father died and I was sorting through his things, the VHS copy of Cabaret had been played up to the beginning of that song.

          • Raven Eye says:

            Small World!?!?

            May you burn in Hell for that, Sir!

            It’s been a long time since that came up, and now I’m doomed until I can find something to push it back into whatever crevice it usually hides in (using a counter-earworm earworm).

            • Solo says:

              Warren Zevon’s, “Lawyers, Guns and Money”. Or L. Cohen’s, “Democracy”. Each has a ravenous appetite for innocuous earworms.
              They’ll clean the field of anything without a thick stalk and deep roots.

            • ThomasH says:

              I was hoist on my own petard; I got home from an errand and found that wretched “tune”
              rattling around my brain. Since I’ve already been sentenced to rot in hell before, all I can do is offer my sincere apologies.

          • Alan Charbonneau says:

            On an episode of “Lucifer”, Mazakeen used that tune as part of an interrogation of a suspect — it followed dislocating his shoulder in terms of severity.

            • Rugger9 says:

              One of my colleagues got stuck on that ride in Disneyland for 40 minutes, the SERE training came in handy…

          • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

            I’ve been writing to Disney for years to propose a 2nd, adult version of this “ride”.

            It’s called “It’s a Small F___ing World!” and you get the same experience except you’re armed with flamethrowers, rocket propelled grenades, machine guns, etc. to blow up the singing dolls with.

            I just hope I get a small fee when they finally see the genius of my idea!

            • LeeNLP says:

              I took my 70+ year old mother on a 3-day trip to Disneyland some years ago. She couldn’t get enough of that ride. Even I, being the charitable, mild-manner person I (really) am, couldn’t imagine going through again without at least a 22-caliber pistol in hand.

              What were they thinking??

  2. Peterr says:

    That said, in the discussion of swapping lawyers, Zucker explained that a video he had just received presented the bulk of the evidence against his client (and seemed convinced that it was substantial evidence).

    H-C’s *old* lawyer said this? This suggests to me that perhaps H-C misled Zucker about what he did or did not do, and when the video proved the lie, H-C was not amenable to whatever legal strategy Zucker wanted to pursue.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I think you are correct here, and H-C doesn’t strike me as a guy with a large bank account. I hear Larry Klayman and Kris Kobach are available.

  3. Bobster33 says:

    What is your sense of the undercurrent of not investigating the Jan 6th sedition? Does it seem like the DoJ is going to pursue this until the very end (and go up the chain of command) or are they going to plead out every case with token charges?

    It seems like the Democrats are looking forward not backward, and I am curious if that has infected the DoJ.

    • Rugger9 says:

      This very EW post makes it clear you are assuming facts not in evidence. Please do your homework, because the DOJ rounded up some more OKs today. The only real gripe I have is DOJ trying to protect Barr and DJT’s communications (the topic of an earlier EW post).

        • Rugger9 says:

          Respectfully, I disagree because of the opening statement about the “undercurrent of not investigating the Jan 6th sedition” . Tucker can get away with “just asking questions” but this was really a statement.

    • Fran of the North says:

      The perception that the Jan 6 investigations are half-hearted and haphazard is a common one in both the MSM and SM. The view from 30K or even 10K feet is dramatically different than what is actually happening on the ground.

      This site, its participants, and EW in particular do the heavy lifting to really investigate, understand and lay bare the moves and countermoves being made by all of the players.

      Drive-by postings based upon marginal research are frowned upon. A good policy to remember if you want to become a valued participant in the conversation is the dictum from high school math: “Show your work”.

      • bmaz says:

        Eh, Bobster has been around a while, don’t think he is randomly driving by. That said, there really is a hell of a lot going on. Said this before, but may as well relate it again. The last large conspiracy case I was involved in had 100-150 defendants spread out over a few cause numbers. That is a lot, but a LOT less than in play in regard to 1/6. That case took a year and a half before much of anything happened such as is already in progress here. This is flying at warp speed. And, no, the first plea here was to felony obstruction when it easily could have been to misdemeanor trespassing. People really need to take a chill pill, this is going along nicely.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          Bobster’s problem, and mine from a couple days back, is that it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees. After Mueller, Fitzmas, and the Plame investigation (which should have gone a lot further, IMHO) we’d both like some solid evidence that THIS TIME the DOJ is actually going to do two things; first, get some solid evidence on the higher-ups, and second, hit the foot-soldiers with stronger charges than “trespassing.”

          The obvious problem, after thinking about this for a couple days, is that if we saw the evidence that these two things will happen so would everyone else. Unfortunately, from the outside it’s hard to tell the difference between “playing to win, with your cards close to your vest” and “Fitzmas is cancelled.” Also, the 2022 elections are a pretty hard deadline if we’d like a useful congress in 2023 and 2024.

          The problem is that these things take time. I was one of the principals at Groklaw for 2-3 years and it took about 5-6 years to get from “SCO has filed suit against IBM” to “SCO’s bankruptcy filing is expected in the next few days,” which “few days” actually took a couple years if I recall correctly.

          But we’d all like to know what the future holds (and if anyone has some insights, or even some juicy gossip, I’d love to hear them.)

          • bmaz says:

            I remember Groklaw, that was seriously good work. As to 1/6, we’ll see. But it is really moving fast relatively.

            • Troutwaxer says:

              Thanks from everyone who was part of it. I have no idea where PJ got to, but she ran a good, tight ship.

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