Capitol riot suspect’s ‘I Was There’ shirt helps confirm his role, prosecutors say

If any of the Texas police officers who came to detain Capitol riot suspect Garret Miller were not sure they had the right man, the T-shirt they found him wearing offered something of a clue: it featured a photograph of Donald Trump and the slogan “I Was There, Washington DC, 6 January 2021”.

Prosecutors say Miller’s attire on the day of his arrest in Dallas was only part of the self-incriminating evidence he provided to confirm his role in the deadly insurrection incited by Trump’s efforts to overturn his election defeat.

Police say they found weapons, ammunition and tactical gear including night vision goggles, ropes and grappling hooks, plus crossbows and arrows, at Miller’s house.

A succession of social media posts by the unemployed 34-year-old on the day of the riot and its immediate aftermath was also highlighted in a federal court filing prosecutors hope will persuade a judge not to release Miller on bond before his trial.

On Facebook on 6 January, Miller allegedly posted a selfie from inside the Capitol, prompting another user to write: “Bro you got in?! Nice!"

Miller replied, “just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” prosecutors said.

In an Instagram post on 10 January, Miller allegedly said of the officer who shot dead a female protester inside the Capitol: “He will swing. I had a rope in my bag that day.”

The prosecutors say Miller believed the officer was black and considered him “a prize to be taken”.

“By bringing tactical gear, ropes and potentially, by his own admission, a gun to the Capitol on 6 January 2021, Miller showed that he was not just caught up in the frenzy of the crowd but instead came to DC with the intention of disrupting the democratic process of counting and certifying electoral college votes,” the prosecutors wrote.

Miller later threatened to kill Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congresswoman, and the Capitol police officer who shot the protester.

“Assassinate AOC,” Miller replied on Twitter, prosecutors allege, after she wrote “Impeach” in her own post about Trump’s actions.

Miller is among more than 300 people facing federal charges for participating in the riot that claimed five lives, including a Capitol police officer. He was indicted by a grand jury in February on 12 counts, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.

He denies any role in the violence. According to the court filing, he told his mother in a phone call after his arrest: “I don’t feel that I’ve done anything wrong and now I’m being locked up.”

F Clinton Broden, Miller’s attorney, called for his client’s release, saying he regrets his actions.

“He has no history of violence and he did not engage in any acts of violence in connection with the charged offenses, unlike many others who have previously been released,” Broden wrote.

Miller remains in jail in Oklahoma City, with a trial date yet to be set. He broke his collarbone playing soccer during recreation time, prosecutors say, delaying his transfer to Washington DC.

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