The FBI claims Garret Miller, 34, of Richardson, Texas, threatened to assassinate the New York congresswoman after he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
DALLAS (CN) — A Dallas-area man is in custody Saturday for allegedly threatening to assassinate Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after he stormed the U.S. Capitol with fellow supporters of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
Garret Miller, 34, of Richardson, Texas, was arrested Wednesday and charged in Washington federal court with entering a restricted building; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; obstructing or impeding an official proceeding; and certain acts during civil disorder.
FBI agents claim in court documents that Miller posted several videos and photos of himself on social media inside the Capitol when thousands of pro-Trump extremists overran police in a bid to stop the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.
Hours earlier, Trump instructed his supporters in a speech in front of the White House to go to the Capitol and encourage Republican lawmakers to oppose the confirmation.
“[A]n individual on Facebook commented, ‘bro you got in?! Nice!’ to which Miller replied, ‘just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,’” the 11-page criminal complaint states.
The FBI said it confirmed Miller’s identity through a subpoena of AT&T, which confirmed his Twitter account was associated with his cellphone number. The agency also confirmed his Facebook account was associated with the same phone number and Twitter account.
The complaint contains several still photos from security camera video showing Miller being “part of the crowd that pushed past the officers” to get into the Capitol. When one of the commenters on his Facebook account tried to blame “paid infiltrators” for the riot, Miller allegedly replied, “Nah we stormed it.”
“We where [sic] gentle,” Miller allegedly replied. “We where [sic] unarmed. We knew what had to be done.”
Five people died during or after the riot. Police shot and killed Ashli Babbitt as she tried to break into the Speaker’s Lobby. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died one day later from injuries inflicted by rioters. Three unidentified people died from unspecified medical emergencies.
Miller allegedly threatened to “bring the guns” for the “next time” in a subsequent post. The FBI claims he later tweeted to Ocasio-Cortez that the rioters “acted with honor and we where [sic] not armed” and that they were “gentle” with police who he claimed “murdered a child,” referring to Babbitt.
After Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “impeach,” Miller allegedly replied “assassinate AOC.”
Ocasio-Cortez mocked Miller Friday evening, tweeting “Well, you did!” in response to Miller’s alleged post about incriminating himself.
“On one hand you have to laugh,” she added. “[A]nd on the other know that the reason they were this brazen is because they thought they were going to succeed.”
The FBI claims Miller threatened to kill the police officer who killed Babbitt on social media, allegedly posting on Jan. 10 that “we going to get a hold” of him and “hug his neck with a nice rope.”
“The individual with whom he was chatting responded, ‘Didn’t you say you were a Christian or some lie?’ to which Miller responded, ‘Justice … not murder … read the commandment … theres a difference.”
Miller is represented by Clinton Broden with Broden & Mickelsen LLP in Dallas. He said Miller regrets and “takes responsibility for his actions” that were “a misguided effort to show his support for former President Trump.” Broden said he does not believe there is evidence that Miller planned to carry out the threats.
“He has the full support of his family and has always been a law-abiding citizen,” Broden said in a statement Saturday. “His social media comments reflect very ill-considered political hyperbole in very divided times and will certainly not be repeated in the future. He looks forward to putting all of this behind him.”
Miller was denied bail Monday afternoon during a hearing in Dallas federal court. He remains in federal custody and will be returned to Washington to face the charges. The court was not persuaded by Miller’s lack of a criminal record or his ties to the Dallas area.
He is one of several Dallas-area rioters who have been arrested and face federal charges for their roles in the riot. Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock Jr. was arrested Jan. 10 after he was identified as the rioter on the Senate floor in combat gear and holding zip-tie handcuffs.
Realtor Jenna Ryan, 50, of Carrollton, was arrested on Jan. 15. She went viral on social media after posting photos of herself flying to the riot on a private plane and for streaming video of herself plugging her real estate agency as she was storming the Capitol with other rioters. Her public plea for a presidential pardon from Trump before he left office was unsuccessful.