WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday’s House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing featured Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) questioning former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen about the identity of the Capitol Police Officer that shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, claiming that she was “executed.”
Babbitt, a 14-year veteran of the Air Force and Air National Guard and a passionate supporter of former President Donald Trump, died from a single gunshot wound after she and other rioters tried to break into the chamber of Congress as part of an effort to disrupt the certification of the victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
After an investigation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not charge Babbitt’s shooter – whose name has not been disclosed – saying there was “insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution” and ruling the act as self-defense; Babbitt was unarmed at the time.
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Gosar – who described Babbitt as a “young lady, a veteran, wrapped in an American flag that was killed in the U.S. Capitol” – asked Rosen why she was “executed” and demanded the name of the officer responsible. Rosen refused to answer, telling Gosar that he did not want to “get into specific facts about investigations” and that he “could not comment.”
Gosar also asked Rosen if any firearms had been confiscated from anyone charged with breaching the Capitol; when Rosen again informed the Arizona Congressman that he was limited in the answers he could give, Gosar told him that, to the best of his knowledge, no firearms had been confiscated.
However, while indeed no firearms were found, reports indicate that rioters were found to be in the possession of a variety of other weapons, including baseball bats, a wooden club, a spear, bear spray, knives and a stun gun.
With Gosar arguably pursuing a narrative that attempted to shift some blame of the U.S. Capitol riots away from the participants, the Congressman also asked Rosen about the natural death of Officer Brian Sicknick, whose passing was initially attributed to “injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol, against the violent mob who stormed it on January 6th.”
Initially some media outlets had reported that Sicknick had been mortally wounded after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the riots; while this was later revealed to be incorrect, it was confirmed that he was attacked twice with pepper spray and had collapsed later that night, passing away the next day. However, the Washington Post later confirmed that investigations had eventually uncovered that Sicknick had actually died of natural causes related to a stroke.