The Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association has asked for a state investigation of Downstate Republican Rep. Chris Miller, who displayed a decal of a far-right militia support group on his pickup truck parked at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt.
Miller, a two-term state House member from Oakland and the husband of new U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, attended former President Donald Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 that led to a deadly attempt by his supporters to take over the Capitol where Congress was counting the Electoral College votes making Democrat Joe Biden the nation’s new president.
In a social media post from the Trump speech site, Chris Miller contended the nation was engaged in a “great cultural war” between free-market capitalism “or whether they will put us in the tyranny of socialism, communism and the dangerous Democrat terrorists that are trying to destroy our country.”
A video of Miller’s pickup truck, displaying his state legislative license plates and parked in a restricted zone at the U.S. Capitol that day, showed it displayed a decal of the “Three Percenters” in its rear window.
The Anti-Defamation League has identified “Three Percenters” as part of the militia movement, most recently opposing pandemic restrictions and contending protests of police brutality against Black people was part of a Democratic conspiracy as part of efforts to take down the Trump administration.
Miller did not respond to a request to speak by phone. Instead, he issued a statement in which he said the decal was given to his son by a “family friend who said it represented patriotism and love of country.” He said he was never part of the “Three Percenters” movement and didn’t know what it was.
“I have since removed the sticker. My intention was to display what I thought was a patriotic statement,” Miller said. “I love our country and consider myself a patriot. My intention was not to hurt or offend anyone but simply to express what I thought was a statement of patriotism.”
Kristina Zahorik, who heads the state Democratic county chairs, submitted a request to the Office of the Legislative Inspector General to investigate Miller’s actions during the Jan. 6 uprising. Zahorik said with Congress pursuing the creation of a commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, “it is only appropriate” the legislative inspector general look into Miller’s actions and activities that day.
“Miller’s attendance at the rally that turned into a mob and insurrection of our nation’s Capitol is troubling, and to date many unanswered questions remain about his subsequent actions and whereabouts that day,” Zahorik said. “The legislative inspector general, at a minimum, should investigate to what extent Miller played a role in the events of Jan. 6, 2021.”
Miller and his wife, Mary, who was born and raised in suburban Naperville, are no strangers to controversy. Just a day before the insurrection attempt, Mary Miller spoke to a conservative group, Moms for America, and invoked Adolf Hitler.
“Each generation has the responsibility to teach and train the next generation. You know, if we win a few elections, we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, whoever has the youth has the future,” she said.
Amid calls for an apology or her resignation, Miller initially tried to defend her comment by contending she was referring to Democratic attempts to indoctrinate youths with liberal ideology. Days later, she issued an apology and said she regretted using the Hitler reference though she also blamed others for “intentionally trying to twist my words.”
Chris Miller is part of a group of conservative Downstate Republican lawmakers known as the “Eastern Bloc,” who contend their rural values are being cast aside by a government run by liberal Chicago Democrats.
He has been part of long-shot populist efforts to have a new state created for Chicago. Also part of the group is state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, who announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor.
Both Millers attended his kickoff event in Effingham, and Chris Miller delivered the opening prayer.
“I pray heavenly Father tonight that you would give Darren and his counselors a backbone of iron, that you would help him to have the courage of their convictions,” Chris Miller said.
“There’s one thing that I know about this race: if Darren Bailey is governor of the state of Illinois, there is a God in heaven,” he said.