(CNN) — Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a member of the House committee that investigated the January 2021 uprising on Capitol Hill, called on former President Donald Trump on Sunday for featuring a speaker during his Saturday rally who criticized January 6 rioters and suspected Nazi sympathizers exposed the plight. He was convicted of all five charges in May.
“When President Biden warned that there are elements in this extreme group that are quasi-fascist, he probably didn’t need to use ‘quasi,'” the California Democrat told CNN’s Jim Acosta in recent comments on “The Newsroom.” Referring to. The current president on “MAGA REPUBLICAN”.
In late August Biden rebuked Republicans who followed the cult of his predecessor, calling it “quasi-fascism.”
The speaker at Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania was Cynthia Hughes, the leader of a support group for defendants like Timothy Hale-Cusanelli on January 6, whose case went viral when the Justice Department released photos of her wearing a distinctive “Hitler mustache.”
Trump’s decision to introduce a speaker to highlight such a case, when there are hundreds of other Capitol riot defendants to cite as examples, prompted a scathing reaction from House Judiciary Committee member Lofgren: “As a supporter of Adolf Hitler saying you are in the ranks of a fascist, there is no question about it. I think it is worrying.”
Support for the rioters on Capitol Hill was just one example of how Trump used his first rally since the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago to roam his base, against Biden, whom he called an “enemy of the state.” ” Told. They were there to campaign in Wilkes-Barre, to promote the FBI and the Justice Department, and only briefly to promote Pennsylvania Senate and gubernatorial candidates.
Just days after the rally, the former president said he would “very, very seriously” consider a full pardon for Capitol rioters if he runs and wins in 2024.
During Saturday’s rally, Hughes alluded to the fact that Hale-Cusanelli, whom he called his nephew, had been in prison since his arrest nearly two years earlier, which he had been facing defendants in matters relating to January 6. He gave an example of widespread injustice. While it is true that Hale-Cusanelli was not charged with any violent crime, the judge in his case decided that he should remain in prison while awaiting trial because he posed a danger to the public and because ” There was a possibility of escalation of “violence for their alleged long-standing neo-Nazi beliefs”.
Federal Judge Trevor McFadden, in a January 2021 court hearing that took place nearly two months after Hale-Cusanelli’s arrest, said, “I am deeply concerned about the statements made after January 6th that suggest the defendant is wishing for civil war. “
“All judges are afraid to release someone who then goes insane,” said McFadden, who was appointed by Trump during a March 2021 hearing. “There are a lot of things here that worry me about it.”
Prosecutors unearthed police reports from 2020 accusing Hale-Kusaneli of stalking by Jewish people. They said they were concerned that he might be following an informant who passed on information to the FBI that helped his case. And he mentioned that some coworkers at the Navy base where he worked in New Jersey were afraid to confront him about his racist and sexist comments.
During the trial in May, prosecutors played a video and audio showing Hale-Kusanelli a sexist abusing a female police officer during the riots and showed the defendant’s text messages expressing anti-Semitic views, including Biden on Jews. charged with controlling. He also said that he wants civil war.
Hale-Cusanelli, who claimed he was unaware that Congress was meeting at the US Capitol, denied being a member of any white supremacist group. He stated that he is half Jewish and half Puerto Rican, and that the intention of his racist insults was always “ironic” and “self-deprecating humour”.
A jury found him guilty on all counts earlier this year and will be sentenced later this month.
He was the fifth rioter to be convicted by a jury in Washington on January 6 and was behind bars for 20 years for the offense of obstructing official proceedings. However, the last sentence is much less likely.
Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.