The U.S. Army demoted reservist Timothy Hale-Cusanelli from sergeant to private and gave him an other-than-honorable discharge after a dozen years of service, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
"An Army reservist charged in the Justice Department's sweeping investigation of the U.S. Capitol riot was quietly demoted and discharged earlier this year, becoming the first known service member to be forced out of the military after officials learned of an alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection," the newspaper reported, citing personnel records reviewed and the former soldier's lawyer.
Attorney Jonathan Crisp complained about the discharge.
"Crisp called the punitive discharge, which severely limits benefits and resources otherwise available to military veterans, 'improper' because, he said, it was delivered while Hale-Cusanelli was incarcerated and because any comments made in the former soldier's defense could violate his 5th Amendment rights in the federal case," the newspaper reported. "Typically, commanders wait until criminal cases are finished before making discharge decisions, Crisp said."
Army officials cited privacy laws when declining to comment.
"At the time of his arrest, Hale-Cusanelli, who remains in federal custody, according to the Justice Department, was employed as a civilian security contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey and held a secret security clearance, prosecutors said in a March court filing," the newspaper reported. "Navy investigators interviewed 44 of his colleagues, including Navy personnel and fellow security contractors, about his behavior at work. All but 10 described Hale-Cusanelli as 'having extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities and women,' prosecutors said."
Multiple colleagues mentioned Hale-Cusanelli's "Hitler mustache" to investigators.
"Among them was a supervisor, who said Hale-Cusanelli was admonished because of it," the newspaper reported. "One sailor told investigators that he heard Hale-Cusanelli say that if he were a Nazi, 'he would kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he wouldn't need to season them because the salt from their tears would make it flavorful enough,' according to the court filing."
Read the full report.