Principled limited government constitutional conservative Representatives Louie Gohmert (TX-1) and Paul Gosar (AZ-4) are about the only members of Congress who have raised questions about the killing of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 Capitol
As Rep. Gohmert told Heather Childers and Bob Sellers in a NewsMax TV interview, “we couldn’t trust these folks now to do anything that is not political.” Nowhere in the debate and committee hearing about setting-up the commission did Democrats once mention Ms. Babbitt’s name or indicate that her killing would be part of the commission’s “investigation” of the riot.
During an Oversight Committee hearing, Rep. Gosar said, "Outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding US citizens, especially Trump voters."
He later noted that Ms. Babbitt, the veteran was shot and killed, was a "young lady, a veteran wrapped in a US flag." Babbitt was shot as she tried to crawl through a broken window that led to the Speaker's Lobby and House Chamber.
Gosar asked former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen who "executed" Babbitt. The officer that shot her was not charged in her death and has not been named. After an investigation, officials said there was no evidence that "the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress."
In our view this tells conservatives and Trump supporters everything we need to know about the proposed January 6 commission – and it should tell Senators everything they need to know to vote NO, or to demand the killing of Ashli Babbitt be part of the commission’s brief.
And as WUSA reported, Ashli Babbitt’s family also believes she was murdered.
“In the eyes of her family? Of course she was,” said attorney Terry Roberts. “I mean, there was just no legal justification to take her life.”
Roberts, a Prince George's County-based attorney who specializes in police misconduct and civil rights litigation, says the Babbitt family plans to file a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the Capitol Police Department. Roberts, who represented the family of Howard University student Prince Jones after he was killed in 2000 by an undercover Prince George’s County police detective, said to him the shooting is an “obvious case of excessive force.”
“She could have easily been stopped by the officer who shot her or numerous other officers who were around and been arrested, if that's what they wanted to do. There was no need to shoot her,” Roberts said. “Any rookie police officer with a set of handcuffs could have taken her into custody. She's an Air Force veteran. She was actually a military police officer herself. I am sure that she would have complied.”
WUSA reported Roberts said he hasn't heard any evidence that the officer who shot Babbitt yelled orders for her to stop, and also said it’s not clear to him that Babbitt ever even saw the officer.
“On her side of the door it’s quite tumultuous, you know, a lot of noise and everything,” Roberts said. “I don’t believe Ashli Babbitt saw him at all. I mean, I think that if she has seen an officer with a gun facing her, that would be a totally different thing.”
Roberts said in his view, and in the Babbitt family’s view, Babbitt was a protester attempting to exercise her right for a redress of grievances from her government. He compared her to other protesters who came out across the country in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer.
“You know, we don’t shoot protesters in this country unless they’re an immediate threat to somebody,” Roberts said. “And so I don’t see the difference between Ashli Babbitt’s case and any other protests which occurred in 2020.”
Roberts did not provide a timeframe for when the Babbitt family might file the lawsuit, but said they were committed to holding the police accountable.
“The only way we can do it is through a civil lawsuit for damages,” Roberts said. “I mean, you take someone’s life who’s married, has a family, that kind of thing, there are significant damages.”
The family has created a Twitter account @ForAshli to collect any evidence or tips about what happened in the Capitol building on January 6.
We agree with Rep. Louie Gohmert that “we couldn’t trust these folks now to do anything that is not political” about the January 6 riot, and we agree with Rep. Paul Gosar and Ashli Babbitt’s family that she was murdered. The question now facing Senators Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, and other Republicans who are prepared to join the Democrats in demanding a January 6 Commission, is will it be a vehicle for getting justice for Ashli Babbitt or will it merely be a political bludgeon used by Democrats to cover-up what really led to her killing?
Ashli Babbitt murder
January 6 riot
January 6 commission
United States Capitol police