His little girl asked a good question because Cusick is yet another J6 defendant who quietly walked inside the Capitol building to find a bathroom and went back out the same door 10 minutes later. Cusick told UncoverDC, “We literally did nothing besides walk in the building. We didn't throw anything. We didn't shout anything. We didn't even chant.” He, his father, and Lesperance now have four misdemeanor charges on his record for looking for a bathroom with permission from Capitol police inside the Capitol building.
On the day of his arrest, Cusick describes what he experienced:
"Cops arrived at my doorstep with AR15s while my girls, ages three and one at the time, watched. It terrified them. Nine cops, I think there were, with all the FBI agents and everything. It was just terrible. FBI were all over my front yard in front of neighbors and my family. They took me out and cuffed me in front of the girls and my wife."
Then they showed me a picture of myself in a Trump beanie and a North Face jacket and said, 'We want these two things.' I told them I would get those things if they promised not to raid my house. They told me they were not going to do that. At that point, they had me shackled at my wrists and ankles. I asked them how they could do this to innocent Americans. One of them told me I was the easiest one whom they had arrested and that they had been doing this all over Florida. I told them I would quit the FBI if I was asked to do their job. There's no way I could start doing that to Americans. I don't care what side of the aisle they were on. It is pure insanity."
Cusick's father was arrested the same day. Cusick says he had been followed for months prior to his arrest as well. He guesses they had been following him since Jan. 20, 2021, up until the day of his arrest on June 24th. At one point, he asked the agents what they had been doing to tail him.
"They told me they began to worry when my truck went missing. A couple of weeks before my arrest, I had to bring my truck to the shop because there was a chip shortage at the time. To buy another used car would have been expensive. So I took the truck to the shop to see how much it would cost to rebuild the engine. Long story short, at that point, I asked the agent, 'Were you sitting outside my house 8 hours a day?' He said, 'Well, let's put it like this. I know you went to Home Depot two days ago and bought a piece of wood. Not only did I follow you there, I walked inside. I watched you make your purchase and everything.'"
The agents also asked him about his affiliations, whether he was in the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, or the Three Percenters. Cusick says he has no interest in any of those groups but told the agents they surely must know his affiliations if they were following him to Home Depot. He would have attended meetings after all.
As with all J6 defendants who have been arrested, Cusick’s life has changed dramatically. He lost his business and has struggled to keep a job due to what he believes is fear on the part of those who might employ him. Local news channels have “trashed him,” showing little curiosity for his side of the story. Cusick's social media accounts have been permanently disabled without recourse.
The truth of the matter is that Cusick, his dad and friend never did anything but peacefully protest on Jan. 6. By the time he arrived at the Capitol building, there were no signs of violence or restricted access. In fact, one of the four misdemeanor crimes he is charged with is 40 U.S.C. § 5104 (e)(2)(D) (Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building), one of the usual J6 charges. Given he entered the building through a “wide open door with police standing at the door watching people go in and out,” the charge makes no sense whatsoever. He spent most of his time looking for a bathroom after asking an officer where it might be. It was too crowded, so he turned around and left the building in under 10 minutes. Cusick describes the demeanor of the police he encountered “They were standing by the door. And the fact that they were letting people walk in and out, people were shaking their hand, and they weren't saying anything. It made me think that they had the thing under control. So whatever had happened that day, we didn't know. We had no idea. It wasn't until we got back to the hotel that night that we were like, what the heck is all this?” referring to the riots being reported all over legacy media.
Cusick says he believes he may have a more fair-minded judge than most J6 defendants. Nevertheless, he said the jury selection process is abominable. When his attorneys asked for a change of venue, the judge asked why. When the attorneys explained their view that juries in D.C. are known to be "tainted," Cusick told UncoverDC that "Judge Bates acted like it was the most absurd thing he had ever heard." Cusick described what he witnessed during jury selection:
"Three of the jurors had to be crossed off the list right off the bat because they worked for the Justice Department. Everyone in D.C. works for the government. There might be three Trump supporters there. I watched as the jury was asked every one of them. Do you know what happened on January 6th? And I'm not saying 1/2; I mean every single person was so biased. They had to be crossed off. Even the judge would ask whether they had a political bias, and they would say, 'Yes, I do.' And he would say, 'Do you have a bias based on the election being stolen? 'Yes, I do. It was not stolen.' And then he would say, 'Well, could you set that aside and judge these three men right here today based on what they did on that day, not what everybody else did, but just these men, based on what they did?' They would answer, 'I don't think I could do it, your Honor.' And the judge would ask again, 'You don't think you could do it?' 'No, I don't.' 'Well, could you?' the judge would again ask. 'Are you sure you couldn't do it?' And they would answer again, 'Your Honor? I just, it would be so hard for me to be able to do that?' And the judge would say, 'Well, could you at least just try?' And they would finally say, 'Well, you know, maybe I could try. I could try. Okay, done, there's a juror right there. I mean, that's just as unfair as can be."
Cusick says it looked as though, in "some way, this whole thing is collusion with the government?" He continued, "I mean, every juror, and I would tell you every single one of them, they would just be so outlandishly biased. All of them said that anybody who supports Trump deserves jail time right off the bat. They would just say it flat out."
Cusick struggles to understand why he and others are being persecuted. He has always been proud to be an American and often “beats himself up” for not joining the military. He admires his Dad and the sacrifices he made. Cusick told UncoverDC that he has loved this country "ever since he was a kid." His wife Ruth, who also loves this country, recently became a U.S. citizen legally.
On Thursday, Oct 12, 2023, Cusick, his father, and Lesperance traveled to D.C. to hear their sentences. All three received the same sentence, one of the most lenient sentences given to J6 defendants. While the government asked for 9 months of incarceration, the judge awarded all of them 10 days of incarceration, 2 years probation, a $3000 fine, and $500 in restitution. He followed sentencing guidelines, according to Cusick. Cusick says the government attorneys were visibly "unhappy." In addition, Judge Bates said that he only gave them time in prison because they failed to demonstrate remorse. In Cusick's case, it was the fact that he had his own podcast and appeared on other podcasts that got him time.
All things considered, this was a good outcome for the Cusicks. However, the truth is that walking inside the Capitol or around the grounds should be an entirely protected activity in America. Moreover, these are ordinary people who continue to suffer unnecessary losses for crimes they didn't commit; lost jobs, loss of privacy, government intimidation, lost pay, loss of constitutional rights, and reputational damage that may never be fully recovered. What is happening to J6 defendants is an unprecedented, relentless governmental overreach that continues to this day unmitigated. All J6 defendants ask me why so few are paying attention, why so few seem to care, whether it be members of Congress or fellow Americans. J6 defendants are living proof that it is no longer clear who will be next on the list.