Insurrectionist who threatened to kill Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says he was ‘following Trump’s orders’ during riot

Capitol riots Donald Trump

Ahead of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a insurrectionist who threatened to kill Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed he was simply following the former president’s instructions when he stormed the US Capitol.

Garrett Miller was among the hundreds of people who descended on the Capitol building in Washington DC on 6 January, leading to violent and chaotic scenes that shocked the world.

He is now facing five charges for making threats and for engaging in violent and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds.

In a statement released to ABC News by his attorney, Miller said: “I believed I was following the instructions of former president Trump.”

He added: “I also left Washington and started back to Texas immediately after president Trump asked us to go home.”

Miller went on to issue a grovelling apology for threatening to “assassinate” Ocasio-Corez, a progressive Democrat who has been fiercely critical of Trump, on the same day.

“While I never intended to harm congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez nor harm any members of the Capitol police force, I recognise that my social media posts were completely inappropriate,” he continued.

“They were made at a time when Donald Trump had me believing that an American election was stolen.”

More than a dozen insurrectionists say they were acting on Trump’s orders.

Miller closed out his statement by offering an apology to Ocasio-Cortez and to police officers working in the Capitol when he and other Trump supporters launched their insurrection.

According to ABC News, at least 15 of the almost 200 people who are facing federal charges for their roles in the riots have since said that they were acting on Trump’s instructions.

Kentucky man Robert Bauer, who also participated in the Capitol riots, told the FBI that he “marched to the US Capitol because president Trump said to do so”, while another rioter said he was prepared to testify during Trump’s impeachment trial that the former president’s words prior to the insurrection encouraged him to take part.

Immediately before an army of Trump supporters descended on government buildings in Washington DC, the president encouraged them to “walk down to the Capitol”, telling them: “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Trump’s second impeachment trial begins in the Senate on Tuesday (9 February), with lawyers for the former president insisting that he did not incite a riot with his remarks on 6 January.

The Republican is facing a single charge of incitement to insurrection over the siege.