| USA TODAY
Ocasio-Cortez feared for her life in Capitol siege
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she and other elected officials “narrowly escaped death” last week when a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed into the U.S. Capitol. (Jan. 13)
A Texas man is facing multiple criminal charges after allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and posting death threats against Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and a U.S. Capitol police officer.
The Department of Justice revealed that Garret Miller faces five criminal charges, including trespassing and making death threats.
Using the initials widely used to refer to the New York Democrat, Miller tweeted “assassinate AOC” hours after he posted pictures of himself storming the Capitol. That tweet was in response to one in which Ocasio-Cortez called for President Donald Trump to be impeached, which he was a week later on a charge of inciting the mob of his supporters.
According to the criminal complaint, Miller was particularly incensed by the fatal shooting of one of those supporters, Ashli Babbitt, during the attack. On Jan. 10, Miller is alleged to have threatened the Capitol Police officer who shot Babbitt, saying on Instagram he was going to “hug his neck with a nice rope.” Six days later, he said the officer deserved to die and that it was “huntin season.”
Miller was arrested on Jan. 20 and made his first court appearance Friday. Miller’s detention hearing is set for Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Friday about Miller’s arrest, quoting his Facebook comment that he “just wanted to incriminate myself a little.”
“Well, you did,” she wrote.
The FBI linked Miller to the attack on the Capitol through a video posted by Twitter user @garretamiller that was captioned “From inside congress” and was filmed inside the Capitol rotunda. The Twitter account was registered under a cell phone number belonging to Miller, a subpoena for AT&T revealed. The FBI also found several posts relating to the attack on Miller’s Facebook account.
“I am about to drive across the country for this trump s—,” Miller wrote in a Jan. 2 post. “Some crazy s— going to happen this week. Dollar might collapse … civil war could start … not sure what to do in DC.”
The complaint also stated that Miller posted a photo of himself and another rioter inside the Capitol on Facebook and was seen on surveillance video from inside the rotunda.
In response to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet saying to “impeach” Trump, Miller claimed, “We acted with honor” and in another post he claimed the crowd had been “gentle.” But video of the attack has revealed violent attacks on police officers, one of whom died as after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher by one of the rioters.
According to the criminal complaint, Miller later said on Instagram that he had a rope in his bag when he entered the Capitol. And in another post, he said, “next time we bring the guns.”
Clint Broden, Miller’s attorney told The Associated Press in an email that Miller regrets the actions he took in support of the former president.
“His social media comments reflect very ill-considered political hyperbole in very divided times and will certainly not be repeated in the future,” Broden said in the email. “He looks forward to putting all of this behind him.”
During an Instagram Live with the New York congresswoman after the attack on the Capitol, Ocasio-Cortez told viewers that she had “a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die” and that she didn’t “know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”
Death threats aren’t new for Ocasio-Cortez. In 2019, she said that she receives them “every day.”
Another man was arrested in 2020 after threatening Ocasio-Cortez. Timothy Ireland of Ohio was arrested in May last year after Capitol Police received a tip that he wrote that Ocasio-Cortez “should be shot” on Facebook. Ireland later admitted to the statement, saying he was proud of it, according to a case affidavit.
According to court documents, agents from the U.S. Capitol Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found seven rounds of ammunition in Ireland’s home. He eventually pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition.