COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A Maryland man who was draped in a Confederate flag when he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, pleaded guilty Wednesday to joining the attack as a crowd prevented Congress to certify the election of Joe Biden as president.
Matthew Ryan Miller, 23, sprayed a fire extinguisher at law enforcement trying to stop rioters from entering the building, according to a case summary signed by Miller. The video also captured Miller throwing an unidentifiable object at officers, prosecutors said.
Miller is expected to be sentenced May 23 in federal court. He pleaded guilty to criminal charges of obstructing official process and assaulting, resisting or obstructing police officers.
Miller was released after his arrest last year, but U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss ordered him held pending sentencing. He must appear in prison before February 23.
Miller traveled to Washington from his home in Cooksville, Maryland. He wore a black cowboy hat, a Washington Capitals jersey, and both the Maryland state flag and the Gadsden flag, which features a yellow background and a hissing snake, tied around his neck.
After using a metal barrier as a ladder to scale a wall in the Capitol, Miller urged other members of the crowd to join him in pushing against law enforcement officers on the Lower West Terrace. Miller waved and said, “Come on,” as the crowd chanted, “Heave! Ho!” and rocked back and forth pushing toward the entrance to the tunnel that law enforcement officers were guarding. Miller held up his fingers, shouting, “One, two, three, push!”
He also sprayed the fire extinguisher on the officers in the tunnel. Prosecutors say another rioter, Robert Palmer, picked up the same fire extinguisher, sprayed the contents at officers, then threw it at them. Palmer was sentenced in December to five years and three months in prison.
Miller attended at least one rally by the Proud Boys, a far-right group, but investigators found no evidence he acted in concert with other members of the group on Jan. 6, prosecutors say. He also identifies himself as a member of a group called the “Patriotic American Cowboys,” prosecutors said.
“If nothing else, the events of January 6, 2021 revealed the size and determination of right-wing fringe groups in the United States, and their willingness to put themselves and others at risk to advance their political ideology. “said an American aide. lawyer, Kaitlin Vaillancourt, wrote in a court filing last year.
More than 730 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot. More than 210 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to offenses carrying a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison.