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A US Navy Contractor Allegedly Urged The Pro-Trump Mob To "Advance" Into The Capitol

Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, an Army reservist, was arrested after he admitted to entering the US Capitol and encouraging other members of the mob to “advance," federal authorities said.

Posted on January 17, 2021, at 7:20 p.m. ET

Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

Rioters enter the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

A US Navy contractor with "secret" security clearance and access to military munitions was arrested after he allegedly encouraged other members of the pro-Trump mob to “advance" during the US Capitol riot that left five people dead, federal authorities said.

Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli of Colts Neck, New Jersey, was charged with unlawfully entering the Capitol, disorderly conduct inside the building, and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

He is a 30-year-old member of the US Army Reserve who works as a contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle, according to court documents. He is also a white supremacist who worked to spread his extremist opinions online, the documents said.

According to authorities, Hale-Cusanelli told a confidential informant with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that he was at the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and showed cellphone videos of himself entering the building.

He also showed the informant videos of himself making "harassing and derogatory statements" to Capitol Police officers inside and outside the building, according to a criminal complaint.

The informant described Hale-Cusanelli as an "avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer" who posted YouTube videos proffering "extreme political opinions and viewpoints" on his channel, called The Based Hermes Show, as well as on other forums.

Before he traveled from New Jersey to DC, Hale-Cusanelli wrote an online post saying, "Trust the plan, it’s the final countdown, stay tuned next episode," and "and “Trust the plan, major announcement soon," according to court documents.

In a recorded conversation with the informant, Hale-Cusanelli admitted to entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 and encouraging others in the frenzied mob to "advance" by giving them directions.

He told the informant that if they'd had more men, the mob could have taken over the entire building.

He also admitted to taking a flag and flagpole that he saw another rioter throw "like a javelin" at a Capitol Police officer, the complaint said.

Hale-Cusanelli described the flagpole as a "murder weapon" and said his intent was to destroy or dispose of the flag as soon as he could.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.