The attorney for a Texas man charged with participating in the Capitol riot and threatening to ‘assassinate’ Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has claimed that he needs to ‘deprogram’ his client from ‘cult leader’ Trump.
Garret Miller, 34, was arrested on Friday after storming the Capitol and posting violent threats on social media, the FBI revealed.
Yet his attorney Clint Broden argued on Cuomo Prime Time on CNN on Tuesday night that Miller had never previously been interested in politics until he was manipulated by former President Trump because he was ‘vulnerable’.
He says that Trump’s ban from social media will now help Miller escape and recover.
‘I have referred to him as a cult leader,’ Broden told Cuomo of Trump.
‘Donald Trump was a cult leader. You have somebody like Garrett Miller, who is not very politically involved, hadn’t even voted much earlier in life, loses his job and gets focused on the internet and you have, as I said, a cult leader telling him to do X, Y and Z to protect the country.’
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Attorney Clint Broden told Cuomo on CNN on Tuesday night that his client Garret Miller must be deprogrammed from ‘cult leader’ Trump after participating in the Capitol riot
Garret Miller, 34, of Texas, was arrested on Friday and charged with several counts after authorities said he posted images and video of himself inside the Capitol during the MAGA riot
Miller had posted several pictures and videos to social media which showed him in the Capitol
On the day of the riot, Miller posted a message on Twitter in which he wrote: ‘Assassinate AOC’, a reference to House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrat from New York
The attorney for Garrett Miller, a rioter who threatened Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, says his client was following the instructions of Pres. Trump.
You have a cult leader telling him he needs to do XYZ to protect his country,” he said. “Cult leaders…prey on vulnerable people.” pic.twitter.com/fwdhYNDlbr
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) January 27, 2021
Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached for a second time earlier this month after the House voted on articles of impeachment that accused him of inciting an insurrection when he called on his supporters to fight against the election result.
Following his speech at a Stop the Steal rally in Washington D.C. on January 6, a mob of his loyalists broke into the Capitol, starting riots that resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol police officer.
It also led to dozens of arrests, with several of those now charged with taking part in the mob claiming that they were simply following the instructions of the then-President.
Among them are a man dubbed the ‘QAnon Shaman’ who is saying he was ‘duped’ by Trump into taking part, and a stay-at-home dad who stole Nancy Pelosi’s lectern who has claimed he was only there to ‘witness history’.
‘That’s what cult leaders do,’ said Broden.
‘They prey on vulnerable people. And not to excuse what Miller did, as you said, his comments are vile, disgusting, what have you. But without going into attorney client privilege I’m having some discussions with him and really we’re trying to deprogram him.
‘That’s what cults do and that’s how you get people out of cults,’ Broden continued.
‘I think he thought he was going to join the comradery of the crowd and a bigger purpose and that was what Trump was inviting him to and I think he went along with the crowd and went in.
‘Certainly not to excuse he actions; he didn’t have firearms that day unlike others, he didn’t go past the Rotunda … but again it comes back to being part of that cult that was created by Donald Trump.
His attorney claimed Miller is getting better as he is removed further from Trump’s comments, which is being helped by the former president’s ban across social media platforms.
Surveillance footage said to show Miller put him inside the Capitol at around 2:46pm
He is seen wearing a patterned backpack and a backwards red ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball hat while carrying two flags – an American flag and a Trump flag
‘The more he gets removed from Trump,’ said Broden.
‘The more he is removed from the vitriol of Facebook and Twitter, he is going back to the Miller that his family and friends remembers. The one who raised money for his wrestling coach’s cancer drive.’
Broden also claims that Miller would be an ‘important’ witness at a Congressional impeachment trial as he is willing to testify how his actions during the violence on January 6 were under the instruction of Trump.
‘Not to help himself but in order to help the nation … and he’s indicted his willingness to do so,’ Broden revealed.
However, any testimony that Miller could give may be delayed after the trial start date was pushed back until February 9.
Miller faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; obstructing or impeding any official proceeding; and certain acts during civil disorder.
According to the FBI’s criminal complaint, another law enforcement agency alerted federal investigators to a Twitter account with the handle @garretamiller, which contained video posted from inside the Capitol. The 14-second clip, which had the caption ‘From inside congress,’ was posted at 6:56pm on January 6
On Twitter, one commenter wrote: ‘The people storming The Capitol are not Patriots. They are PAID INFILTRATORS.’ To which Miller replied: ‘Nah we stormed it. We where [sic] gentle. We where [sic] unarmed. We knew what had to be done …’, as pictured above
According to the complaint, Miller acknowledged on social media that he was one of the rioters inside the Capitol, though he disputed that the mob was trying to carry out a ‘coup,’ noting that people were ‘unarmed’, as pictured in the tweets above
Miller posted: ‘They are right next time we bring the guns,’ an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit
Federal authorities allege that Miller posted photos and videos on his social media accounts that show him inside the Capitol during the January 6 storming of the building by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
They also say he called for violence in online posts, including a tweet that simply read ‘Assassinate AOC,’ a reference to the liberal Ocasio-Cortez.
The tweet was in response to a call from Ocasio-Cortez to ‘impeach’ Trump on the day of the riot.
In another tweet, Miller posted: ‘They are right next time we bring the guns,’ an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit.
Miller also threatened a US Capitol police officer during an exchange on Instagram, writing that he planned to ‘hug his neck with a nice rope,’ the affidavit states.
After posting a selfie photo of himself on Facebook showing him inside the Capitol, one commenter on Facebook wrote: ‘bro you got in?! Nice!’
Miller responded to the comment on the picture with: ‘just want to incriminate myself a little lol,’ according to an FBI affidavit.
According to the FBI’s criminal complaint, another law enforcement agency alerted federal investigators to a Twitter account with the handle @garretamiller, which contained video posted from inside the Capitol.
Miller has claimed he was simply following the instructions of former President Donald Trump who had delivered a speech to his supporters just before the storming of the Capitol
The 14-second clip, which had the caption ‘From inside congress,’ was posted at 6:56pm on January 6. It showed a crowd inside the Capitol Rotunda, according to the complaint.
The FBI subpoenaed AT&T and learned that the account was connected to a phone number registered to Miller.
Investigators then traced the phone number to a home address where Miller lived.
A van registered to Miller was parked in the driveway of the address, according to law enforcement officials.
According to federal investigators, Miller also posted several items on his Facebook page indicating that he was going to the US Capitol on January 6.
One post indicating that he was driving ‘across the country for this Trump s***.’
On January 3, he allegedly wrote that he was bringing with him a grappling hook, a level 3 bulletproof vest, helmets, a mouth guard, and a bump cap, which is worn under the helmet and offers impact-resistant protection.
On the day of the riot, images posted to Miller’s Facebook page show him inside the Rotunda, according to the FBI complaint.
Authorities say that those images match Miller’s driver’s license photo.
Surveillance footage said to show Miller put him inside the Capitol at around 2:46pm.
He is seen wearing a patterned backpack and a backwards red ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball hat while carrying two flags – an American flag and a Trump flag.
Miller is also seen in a video that shows a crowd of people pushing into the Rotunda.
According to the complaint, Miller acknowledged on social media that he was one of the rioters inside the Capitol, though he disputed that the mob was trying to carry out a ‘coup,’ noting that people were ‘unarmed.’
Miller faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; obstructing or impeding any official proceeding; and certain acts during civil disorder
In his own statement released through his defense team after his arrest, Miller has maintained that he ‘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 added.
‘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.’
Miller also apologized to Congresswoman Ocasio Cortez and the Capitol police officers who he threatened online.
‘I have always supported law enforcement and I am ashamed by my comments,’ he stated.
‘I come from a good and supportive family. My parents and brothers do not deserve the pain I have caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am prepared to testify at any trial or Congressional proceeding.’
On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford ordered that Miller remain in federal custody without bond until his trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Magliolo said Miller’s racist threats on social media about hanging a Black Capitol police officer with a rope were concerning.
‘He is exceedingly dangerous. Please, please detain this man,’ Magliolo told the judge.
The FBI said Miller became ‘fixated’ on the death of Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who was shot and killed by police inside the building during the Jan. 6 attack, and wanted revenge.
‘You were hunting a Capitol Police officer,’ Rutherford said. ‘I don´t see any remorse.’