A Texas man charged with invading the Capitol and threatening to “assassinate” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Monday that he was effectively following then-President Donald Trump’s orders when he joined a mob that stormed Congress on Jan. 6.
Garret Miller also apologized to Ocasio-Cortez for writing “Assassinate AOC” in a Twitter post.
He said he would be willing to testify to Congress or in a trial about the riot.
The 34-year-old had also threatened a Capitol Police officer who fatally shot a fellow rioter, saying in a social media post he planned to “hug his neck with a nice rope,” authorities said.
“I was in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, because I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump and he was my president and the commander-in-chief. His statements also had me believing the election was stolen from him,” Miller said in a statement released from his attorney.
“Nevertheless, I fully recognize Joe Biden is now the President of the United States and that the election is over. Donald Trump is no longer president and I would not have any reason to continue to follow his lead,” he said. “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. They were made at a time when Donald Trump had me believing that an American election was stolen,” he said.
The statement continued: “I want to publicly apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and the Capitol police officers. I have always supported law enforcement and I am ashamed by my comments.”
His apology came as a federal judge in Dallas ordered him detained without bail pending trial, after finding he was both a danger to the community and a flight risk, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.
Miller is one of the dozens of pro-Trump supporters charged with participating in the riot, which began shortly after Trump held a rally outside the White House, where he urged supporters to march to the Capitol and pressure Congress to reject the election of Joe Biden as president.