Jason Miyares

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former deputy Virginia attorney general who says she was fired over social media posts in which she praised the Capitol rioters as “patriots” and falsely claimed Donald Trump won the 2020 election is suing the attorney general’s office for defamation.

Monique Miles alleges in her lawsuit that Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares and members of his staff damaged her professional reputation and credibility when a spokesperson told the media she had resigned from her job and that she was not transparent during her initial interviews for the job.

Miles said she was forced out of her job as The Washington Post was getting ready to publish a story with screenshots of Facebook posts she wrote as a private citizen, more than a year before she began working as the deputy attorney general of the Government Operations and Transactions division, which oversaw work on issues related to election integrity.

“News Flash: Patriots have stormed the Capitol,” Miles wrote. “No surprise. The deep state has awoken the sleeping giant. Patriots are not taking this lying down. We are awake, ready and will fight for our rights by any means necessary.” The lawsuit seeks $1 million in damages.

In her complaint, Miles said she was aggressively recruited to apply for a job as a deputy attorney general shortly after Miyares won the 2021 election. She said she had known Darrell Jordan, Miyares’ chief of staff, for about four years and believed the office was aware of her views about the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 riots because she and Jordan were Facebook “friends” and he was “privy” to her posts.

Miles said no one in the attorney general’s office — including Miyares — asked her about her political views during interviews for the job.

About a week after Miles began her job in January, a friend told her the Post had asked her for comment on a story about Miles. She said she immediately told Jordan and other officials in Miyares’ offiice.

On Feb. 10, she said she had a series of meetings, phone calls and text messages with the officials in which she presented them with screenshots of her Facebook posts and explained that she had later edited some of them as she gained “more information from the news, post-election lawsuits, legislative hearings, and election audits as information was unfolding.”