Trump says ‘no reason’ for officer to shoot rioter, pushing conspiracy theory
Former President Trump claimed on Wednesday that there was “no reason” for a rioter to be shot during the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol.
Trump brought up the rioter, Ashli Babbitt, after he was asked what he had done to to stop the attack on the Capitol and why he couldn’t stop it.
Trump was impeached for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol, though the Senate did not have a supermajority to convict him.
Trump called the event “unfortunate” but claimed that people “are being treated unbelievably unfairly.”
He said left-wing protesters in antifa, a frequent Trump target, were allowed to get away with worse before turning to Babbitt.
Babbitt was shot and killed by an unidentified Capitol Police officer as she and other members of the mob attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 stood feet from where lawmakers were taking cover in the House chamber.
An officer shot Babbitt after she tried to enter the Speaker’s Gallery just off the House floor after members of the mob had smashed through a window to a door outside the gallery.
“But the person that shot Ashli Babbitt, boom, right through the head, just boom, there was no reason for that. And why isn’t that person being opened up, and why isn’t that being studied? They’ve already written it off. They said that case is closed,” Trump said during a press event in Bedminster, N.J., scheduled to discuss class-action lawsuits he is filing against Facebook and Twitter.
In April, the Department of Justice closed its investigation into the death of the rioter and cleared the police officer of wrongdoing.
Trump also said there were no guns in the Capitol.
A number of people have been charged with bringing firearms to the protests in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. While no guns were recovered at the Capitol, authorities were focused on clearing the building after it was overrun,and not on taking weapons from people.
“There were no guns in the Capitol … except for the gun that shot Ashli Babbitt, and nobody knows who that man were,” Trump said.
In a statement after the officer was cleared, the Justice Department said, “The investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
According to The Washington Post, the law firm representing the officer said it was keeping his name confidential because he was facing death threats. Additionally, the Justice Department said that Babbitt was struck in the left shoulder, not the head.