The Texas man who posted selfies from the Capitol riot and followed that up with a death threat to AOC is now apologizing, saying he’s “ashamed” of his comments and blaming former President Trump for leading him into rioting.
Garret Miller, 34, was arrested Wednesday and originally charged with four counts related to his alleged participation in the Capitol riot, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, knowingly entering a restricted building, certain acts during civil disorder, and obstructing an official proceeding. And then his charges were updated to include a fifth count of threats, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to CNBC.
He targeted AOC after she tweeted “Impeach” following the riot and one of her commenters called to “arrest any maga [sic] supporter in dc [sic] and hold them.”
To that, Miller said: “We acted with honor and we where [sic] not armed,” according to a criminal complaint. “We where [sic] gentle with the police. They murdered a child.” Miller then followed that up with another reply that said simply: “Assassinate AOC[.]” In another automate your posting, Miller said of the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt that “we gonna hug his neck with a nice rope.”
Miller’s online posts earned him a threat charge, along with the four other charges related to the Capitol riot.
He released a statement Monday through his lawyer apologizing to Ocasio-Cortez and Capitol Police and claiming he was following the orders of former President Donald Trump when he participated in the riot.
“While I never intended to harm Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez nor harm any members of the Capitol police force, I recognize that my social media posts were completely inappropriate,” Miller told VICE News in an email through his lawyer, Clint Broden. “They were made at a time when Donald Trump had me believing that an American election was stolen.”
Miller said he left D.C. after Trump told the protesters to go home and said he now recognizes Joe Biden as the president of the United States, according to CNBC. “I want to publicly apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and the Capitol police officers,” he reiterated. “I have always supported law enforcement and I am ashamed by my comments.”
More than a hundred people have been charged so far in connection with the riots, and Miller isn’t the first to say he was following Trump’s orders.
A lawyer for Jake Angeli, the “QAnon Shaman” who wore face paint and a Viking headdress during the riot and told VICE News that he was “quite proud of my participation,” told St. Louis television station KSDK last week that Angeli is actually quite sorry for his participation.
“He regrets very, very much having not just been duped by the president, but by being in a position where he allowed that duping to put him in a position to make decisions he should not have made,” the lawyer said.
Like others arrested in the wake of the Capitol riot, Miller is alleged to have posted videos and photos of himself inside the Capitol to social media. The feds allege that Miller posted a selfie of himself inside the Capitol wearing a Make America Great Again hat, and a commenter said, “bro you got in? Nice!”
“Just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” Miller allegedly responded.
Prior to the riot, Miller had allegedly posted that he was bringing “a grappling hook and rope and a level 3 vest. Helmets mouth guard and bump cap,” and that he ““had a lot of guns” on him when he had previously attended a pro-Trump rally in the capital.
Following his initial court appearance Friday, Miller was due to appear in federal court Monday for a detention hearing.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Miller’s arrest Friday. “On one hand you have to laugh, and on the other know that the reason they were this brazen is because they thought they were going to succeed,” she tweeted.
The account purportedly belonging to Miller has since been suspended by Twitter, though screenshots were included in the charging documents.