Kaye, who calls herself the “Angry Patriot Hippie” on social media, then spewed an obscenity-laden screed against the federal law enforcement agency.
“You think I’m going to … let you come talk to me?” she said. “I’m an American. I know my … rights. My First Amendment right to free speech, my Second Amendment right to carry a gun to shoot your f------ a-- if you come to my house.”
The FBI took her comments seriously and charged Kaye in a criminal complaint filed on Feb. 15 with making a communication in interstate commerce that threatened to kill agents from the FBI, the Justice Department announced Friday.
A federal public defender representing Kaye did not immediately respond to a message late on Sunday from The Washington Post, but told the Miami New Times that Kaye’s videos constitute protected speech.
“We will vigorously defend Ms. Kaye’s First Amendment right to express herself on social media and against this alleged crime,” Kristy Militello told the paper on Friday.
Many of the more than 200 people charged in the Capitol riot have been arrested based on social media posts, including those sharing video taken in the Capitol and posted later to boast about participating in the mob. Some have also been charged for making online threats, including a man who threatened to “assassinate” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
On social media, Kaye has been a vocal supporter of former president Donald Trump. She made other TikTok videos where she questioned the validity of the 2020 election results and joked about hurting members of “antifa.” In one TikTok video posted on Jan. 7 after Congress certified President Biden’s victory, Kaye claimed she had received an “unsolicited” package from China that consisted of a “white flag of surrender.”
“They’re telling me we lost, and I should surrender,” she said.
A tipster told the FBI that Kaye had posted on social media claiming she had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, which spurred agents to contact the Florida woman to investigate further.
According to a criminal complaint that was unsealed on Thursday, Kaye had agreed to speak with FBI agents about the investigation into her alleged role in the Capitol riot, contradicting her tough talk on social media.
“Kaye further indicated that she was retired and had plenty of time to talk, but would need to be interviewed at her residence because she was not able to drive,” according to the complaint.
In a Jan. 28 call with FBI agents, Kaye allegedly denied traveling to Washington to participate in the riot at the U.S. Capitol building earlier in the month, but “claimed she was aware of individuals who did travel there,” the complaint said.
The FBI did not indicate that it had evidence Kaye had participated in the Jan. 6 riot, nor did the agency make allegations about any illegal activity by Kaye on that date.
In the video that led to the criminal charge against her, Kaye insisted she would not speak to police.
“I told them, ‘Bro, I ain’t gonna talk to you unless I have counsel. And being that I can’t afford counsel right now, you’re gonna have to come arrest me so I can exercise my rights to counsel. And being that you don’t even know where I live and you have to ask me, I ain’t talking to you,’” she said.
According to the criminal complaint filed last week, Kaye has a criminal history in Palm Beach, Fla., including a 2010 domestic battery charge that resulted in a no-contact order.
In February 2020, Kaye was arrested for ripping the collar of her adult daughter’s shirt during an argument and then threatening her with a kitchen knife, according to a risk protection order barring Kaye from buying firearms filed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office last week. Kaye allegedly stabbed a bedroom door five times while her daughter hid behind it. Kaye was charged with battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, but those charges were later dropped, the order said.
According to the risk protection order, the daughter said Kaye suffers from bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression, and allegedly has a history of mixing alcohol with psychiatric medications.
Kaye has a hearing scheduled on Monday at 10 a.m. in the West Palm Beach division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, according to court records.