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A pickup truck parked at the United States Capitol and bearing a Three Percenter militia sticker on the day of the Jan. 6 riot belongs to the husband of freshman U.S. Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, who approvingly quoted Adolf Hitler a day earlier.
Researchers on Twitter first noticed the Ford pickup truck with the far-right militia’s decal parked on the Capitol grounds in footage posted to social media and taken by CBS News.
The presence of a vehicle with a militia decal so close to the Capitol, inaccessible to normal vehicle traffic, raised questions about how it got there—and whether it belonged to any of the hundreds of suspects involved in the deadly riot.
But in an email to The Daily Beast, Chris Miller, Rep. Miller’s husband and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, conceded the truck belonged to him even as he pleaded ignorance about the militia group.
“Army friend gave me decal. Thought it was a cool decal. Took it off because of negative pub,” Miller wrote in an email late Thursday. He says he “never was member” of the militia and “didn’t know anything about 3% till fake news started this fake story and read about them.”
A request for comment to the office of U.S. Rep. Miller was not returned prior to publication.
The link between the truck and Rep. Miller was first reported on Twitter on Thursday by the @capitolhunters account, which is organizing research about rioters seen in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from a large community of volunteers reviewing thousands of hours of footage.
— Phoenix on Wheels (@phoenixonwheels) February 25, 2021
A pickup truck with the same make, model, color, and Illinois plate number as the one at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is also visible in a July 2020 photo carrying Mary Miller for Congress banners during a Fourth of July parade in Illinois. That same day, Rep. Miller’s Facebook page posted a picture of what appeared to be the same truck with the same Trump-Pence and Mary Miller for Congress banners attached to the same PVC pipe frame as she campaigned in the towns of Mattoon, Sullivan, Herrick, and Moweaqua.
Previously, the Millers have proudly posted pictures of the same model of Ford pickup truck, often emblazoned with the same stickers—like “herd quitter” and Guns Save Life, a website affiliated with an Illinois-based gun rights group—as the truck at the Capitol bore on Jan. 6. In at least one case, before Chris Miller’s election to the State House in 2018, the truck in question had a different license plate.
The couple have appeared with that truck at campaign events, sometimes with the vehicle plastered in pictures of their faces or “taxpayers lives matter” posters. The license plate of the vehicle at the Capitol on Jan. 6—registered to Illinois, but with a drawing of the state’s Capitol building—appears to be a design reserved for Illinois politicians, like Chris Miller, who took office in 2019.
The Three Percenter decal may have been a relatively new addition to the car, as it was not visible in images from this summer.
Elected last November, Mary Miller, a Republican, is perhaps best known for speaking at a “Moms for America” rally in front of the Capitol one day before the riot. “Hitler was right on one thing: whoever has the youth has the future," she told the crowd. She later apologized for the remarks and said “some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs.”
Militia groups have garnered new attention from law enforcement given the number of members arrested and charged with riot-related crimes since Jan. 6. Robert Gieswein, an alleged rioter identified by The Daily Beast who’s visible in footage of the first rioters to break into the Capitol, "appears to be affiliated with the radical militia group known as the Three Percenters," according to an FBI affidavit filed in the court case against him.
The group, which first formed in 2008, is part of a loose network of “anti-government extremists” who liken their crusade against the U.S. government to that of Revolutionary War-era patriots, according to the Anti Defamation League. Their name comes from the false claim that only 3 percent of U.S. colonists fought in that war.
Ties between militia groups and Congress have also come under greater scrutiny after some lawmakers suggested their colleagues may have played a role in the riot. Rep. Steve Cohen pointedly claimed that U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert led a “large” tour through the Capitol shortly before the riot. Boebert said she gave no tours to anyone outside her family at the time and there is no evidence as yet that any of the rioters benefited from inside help.
Boebert has, however, been criticized for her links to militia groups after she posed for a picture at a December 2019 gun rights rally where rally-goers flashed Three Percenter hand signs.
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