WASHINGTON, D.C. – Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group that investigates alleged misconduct by government officials, announced a new phase of their legal battle to obtain details on what they claim is a federal cover-up following the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a United States Capitol Police (USCP) officer during the riots at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
A FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Justice has been filed by Judicial Watch this week for records related to the housing of U.S. Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd – the USCP officer who shot Babbitt – at Joint Base Andrews, where the group claims that he was housed immediately after the incident.
Babbit was among a group of rioters who had breached the Capitol Building and were attempting to break through a barricaded doorway in a hallway that led to the chamber where members of Congress were in the process of being evacuated. The death of Babbit was ruled “lawful and within Department policy” and “potentially saved members (of Congress) and staff from serious injury and possible death” following a USCP investigation.
Byrd’s identity was initially kept secret for eight months following the shooting, until the officer himself broke his silence and came out in public in order to justify his shooting of Babbitt, saying “I saved countless lives.”
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Judicial Watch said that “the FBI failed to respond to three July 2022 FOIA requests about Byrd’s housing while his name as the shooter of Ashli Babbitt was being withheld from the public by the government.” Requested records included authorization papers, housing, meals, transportation, and visitor logs.
Byrd never wrote up a police report or supplied any documents related to the Babbitt shooting, nor did he cooperate with an internal police review of the incident, according to Judicial Watch, who also stated that Babbitt was unarmed at the time of her death and that no verbal warnings were given before she was ‘murdered.’
“The liberal Big Media, the compromised Biden administration, and the complicit Pelosi Congress have zero interest in justice for the killing of Ashli Babbitt,” a statement by the group read. “Judicial Watch, with your support, is proud to step into this accountability gap to demand the truth.”