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Deceased protester who lit himself on fire outside Trump hush money trial once worked for Democrat congressman

Maxwell Azzarello, the protester who set himself outside of a courthouse where former President Trump's hush money trial was taking place, formerly worked for Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Maxwell Azzarello, the man who died after setting himself on fire while former President Trump's hush money trial was taking place, once worked for the Democrat congressman who flipped Rep. George Santos's seat blue, according to online records. 

Rep. Tom Suozzi currently represents Nassau County and parts of Queens, having taken office earlier this February. He also served as a congressman from 2017 to 2023, before the disgraced Santos briefly took his seat.

Azzarello's LinkedIn page states that he briefly worked as an Operations Director for Friends of Tom Suozzi from August 2013 to November 2013. The Florida resident, 37, died on Friday night due to severe burns after self-immolating inside Collect Pond Park near the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse. 

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At around 1:30 p.m., Azzarello took multiple pamphlets out of his backpack and threw them in the air, before pouring a flammable liquid on his body and setting himself on fire. The pamphlets included an online link to his Substack page and discussed conspiracy theories.

A New York City Police Department (NYPD) spokesman told Fox News Digital that Azzarello was pronounced dead at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, around 9 hours after he self-immolated.

The decedent worked for Suozzi when the candidate was running for Nassau County Executive in 2013. Azzarello's LinkedIn profile says that he "lead various projects such as preparing the candidate for debates, organizing commercial shoots, planning logistics for campaign rallies, and completing interest group questionnaires."

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Azzarello's job responsibilities also involved developing social media content and drafting press releases, plus updating Suozzi's events calendar. In a statement to the New York Post, Suozzi confirmed that he remembered the protester and somberly wished his family the best.

"Max Azzarello worked on my campaign for Nassau County Executive in 2013 as part of the field staff," Suozzi said.

"Even though I haven’t seen or talked to Max since then I recall him being very kind, smart and hardworking. It is tragic that he has succumbed to his injuries and I am keeping Max and his family in my prayers."

Fox News Digital reached out to Suozzi's office for a statement, but did not hear back.

Fox News Digital's Louis Casiano and Landon Mion contributed to this report.

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