RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A deputy Virginia attorney general resigned Thursday after social media posts surfaced in which she praised the Capitol rioters as “patriots,” falsely claimed Donald Trump won the 2020 election and espoused conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
A spokeswoman for Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares confirmed Monique Miles’ resignation and said that her posts, first reported by The Washington Post, had been unknown to the office before Thursday morning.
“The Attorney General has been very clear — Joe Biden won the election and he has condemned the January 6th attack,” spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said in a statement to The Associated Press.
The Washington Post reported that it had obtained screenshots of the Facebook posts by Miles, authenticated them with people who interacted with Miles, and shared them with Miyares’ office.
The newspaper reported that the social media comments from Miles were not publicly visible but that Miles said they had not been deleted.
Miles, who could not immediately be reached by the AP for comment, told The Post in an email that the posts were being taken out of context and were shared in a “character assassination to stir up controversy.”
“The posts were made at a time when the news was still developing re: the facts around the election, the court cases, the Rally on the Ellipse and what happened at the capitol,” Miles said in the email, The Post reported. “That was before all the audits occurred. These posts have been taken out of context.”
According to a screenshot of one of the Facebook posts published by The Post, Miles praised the Capitol rioters on the afternoon of Jan. 6.
“News Flash: Patriots have stormed the Capitol. No surprise. The deep state has awoken the sleeping giant,” Miles wrote. “Patriots are not taking this lying down. We are awake, ready and will fight for our rights by any means necessary.”
Miyares announced Miles’ hiring in January as deputy attorney general for government operations and transactions. A news release at the time said she was the founder and managing partner of a law firm in northern Virginia.
The AP left a message seeking comment from Miles at that law office and attempted to reach her by phone.
Miyares, who was elected in November, condemnedthe Capitol insurrection the day it occurred, calling it “a disgusting attack” against the principle of law and order.
“Ignoring orders and attacking law enforcement is never acceptable, under any circumstance,” he tweeted on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Democratic Attorneys General Association highlighted The Post’s reporting in a news release.
“Jason Miyares needs to come clean: is he lying or incompetent?” Geoff Burgan, the group’s communications director, said in a statement.