Jan. 6 rioter who threatened Rep. Ocasio-Cortez gets 3 years

Feb 22, 2023, 12:50 AM | Updated: Feb 23, 2023, 6:41 am

FILE - A statement of facts document presented to the United States District Court in the case agai...

FILE - A statement of facts document presented to the United States District Court in the case against Garret Miller is photographed, March 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

(AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

A Texas man who threatened U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter after he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was sentenced on Wednesday to more than three years in prison.

Garret Miller was wearing a shirt that read “I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021” with a picture on President Donald Trump on it when law enforcement officers showed up at his Dallas-area home to arrest him two weeks after the riot. Miller has already spent more than two years behind bars since his arrest, and with credit for good behavior, he’s expected to serve another eight months, according to his lawyer, F. Clinton Broden.

Miller, a 36-year-old from Richardson, was among the many rioters who thoroughly documented their actions that day in a flurry of social media posts. After Miller posted a selfie showing himself inside the Capitol, a friend wrote, “bro you got in?! Nice!” Miller replied, “just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” according to court papers.

On Jan. 6, he helped lead the charge as rioters removed barriers and swarmed the east front of the Capitol, prosecutors said. He was twice briefly detained by police but released and told to leave as overwhelmed officers struggled to beat back the mob, prosecutors said.

Instead of leaving, Miller went inside the Capitol, where authorities say he was aggressive toward police and ignored their commands as they tried to force him to exit. He grabbed at one officer’s baton and put his hand on another as he resisted being pushed out of the Rotunda, according to prosecutors.

The night of Jan. 6, Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat who represents parts of New York City, tweeted the word “Impeach.” Miller responded to her on Twitter with: “Assassinate AOC.” The next day, he bragged to a friend in a message that the rioters “terrified congress,” prosecutors say.

Shortly after the 2020 election, he also sent a threatening message to the Instagram account of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, writing “we are coming for you,” according to prosecutors. U.S. Capitol Police referred the threat to the FBI, who at that point were already investigating Miller for his Jan. 6 actions, prosecutors say. He was not charged with threatening Schumer.

Days after the riot, Miller was sharing photos of the officer he believed fatally shot Ashli Babbitt at the Capitol, prosecutors say. In a Facebook message on Jan. 10, Miller said he and others were going to get a hold of the officer and “hug his neck with a nice rope,” according to court papers.

Miller’s attorney had asked the judge to impose time served, while prosecutors had sought four years in prison.

Miller’s attorney said in court documents that despite his client’s tweet about Ocasio-Cortez and messages about the officer, “there is no indication that he made any effort whatsoever to actually harm anybody.”

“It should be always be remembered that, although Garret is fully responsible for his individual actions that day, his actions and the actions of many others were a product of rhetoric from a cult leader that has yet to be brought to justice,” Broden said in an email Wednesday. “Garret Miller was not the name on the flag carried by those who invaded our Capitol on this dark day in our nation’s history. “

In a letter to the judge, Miller called his social media posts “disgusting and a complete embarrassment” and apologized to Ocasio-Cortez, Schumer, the officer who shot Babbitt and the other officers Miller interacted with on Jan. 6.

“I feel a deep remorse for not being helpful to police that day and aiding in destruction and pain. It was unnecessary, barbaric, and disrespectful. I was proud, arrogant, and acted in anger. I needed to be humbled” he wrote.

Miller pleaded guilty in December to charges including interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder, assaulting, resisting or impeding officers and threatening Ocasio-Cortez.

Miller was charged separately this month in Texas federal court with one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, according to court documents. When he was arrested on the Jan. 6 charges, authorities found an AR-style rifle at his home that had been configured to fire like a machine gun.

He’s among nearly 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot and more than 500 who have pleaded guilty. About 400 rioters have been sentenced, with over half getting terms of imprisonment ranging from seven days to 10 years.


Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press reporter Lindsay Whitehurst contributed from Washington.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the Capitol riot at https://apnews.com/hub/capitol-siege

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

16 hours ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

3 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

3 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

5 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 days ago

Jan. 6 rioter who threatened Rep. Ocasio-Cortez gets 3 years