A Texas man has been charged by the Justice Department for his role in the Capitol riots on January 6 and allegedly giving death threats to Democratic Congresswoman from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a Capitol Police officer.
The man, named Garrett Miller, 34, was arrested on Wednesday (January 20) in Texas. He now faces five charges, including disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, violent entry and threatening a public official amongst others. Miller's detention hearing is slated for January 25.
Shortly after the violence broke out at Capitol and thousands of pro-Trump supporters barged into the building, incited by former President Donald Trump, Capitol Police shot dead a protestor named Ashli Babbitt, a US Air Force veteran. But Miller assumed that Babbitt, who was trying to break into the House Chamber, was a 16-year-old girl. As Ocasio-Cortez tweeted "Impeach", he responded by saying, "assassinate AOC". Furthermore, he responded to another tweet from an unknown person, who called for the arrests of the protestors, saying, "they murdered a child".
"We acted with honor and we where (sic) not armed. We where (sic) gentle with the police. They murdered a child," Miller posted.
Following the riot, Miller continued to post on Facebook and Twitter, boasting about his efforts and also said the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick "deserved to die". So its huntin season," he said in a Facebook post.
"Well we got the traitor cop as a target and as long as we don't shoot him we don't get accused of firing the first shot. He shot first. His death prevents civil war by liberal history teller arguments," Miller wrote in a January 16 post on Facebook according to DoJ filings. The court documents also revealed that Miller had a rope in his bag on the day of the Capitol siege.
On a January 10 Facebook post, Miller spoke about killing the police officer who shot Babbitt. "We going to get a hold of the USCP officer and hug his neck with a nice rope," he allegedly said.
His social media comments were incriminating enough for him to be arrested apart from selfies posted from inside the Capitol on Jan 6. However, he knew he could be arrested. But he continued to post pictures of him inside the Capitol, easily identifying himself to law enforcement. In the picture, someone commented, "bro you got in?! Nice!" Miller responded, "Just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol."
As for AOC, she has often been targeted by far-right supporters for being a vocal critic of them. She often gets death threats on social media. However, she did not take this lightly. As news of his arrest surfaced on Twitter, AOC tweeted saying, "Just wanted to incriminate myself a little. Well, you did!"
'Misguided by Political Hyperbole'
Miller's attorney, Clint Broden, said that he was misguided by political hyperbole and he regretted everything he said. "Mr Miller takes responsibility for his actions taken on January 6 on behalf of his support for former President Trump and wants to move forward and put this behind him. He has the support of his family and his comments reflect misguided political hyperbole that will not be repeated," he said in a statement.
Miller's Twitter account was suspended for insinuatory comments and he deactivated his Facebook profile. If proven guilty, Miller can face imprisonment up to 15 years. So far, the FBI has arrested hundreds of rioters in relation to the Capitol siege and hundreds more could be arrested in the coming days as the Justice Department pursues the preparators.