The first day of hearings from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 committee focused on the stories of a number of hand-picked U.S. Capitol Police officers, who gave emotional testimony about what they experienced that fateful day.
There were plenty of tears, from the officers and some of the lawmakers on the panel, so much so that Fox News’ Laura Ingraham saw it as “theatrics” designed to produce “an emotional reaction, logic and facts be damned.”
One issue involving the Capitol Police did not come up Tuesday, as Newsmax TV’s Greg Kelly noted, which is the death of Ashli Babbitt at the hands of an officer who has still not been publicly identified. On that note, Kelly had five relevant questions about the only death on Jan. 6 directly related to the storming the U.S. Capitol.
Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran and a Trump supporter, was shot and killed inside the Capital when she tried to climb through a broken window next to a door outside the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House chamber.
“What I didn’t hear and what I’m very anxious to hear — why don’t we ask them, why don’t we ask anybody about Ashli Babbitt?” Kelly said on Tuesday’s episode of Greg Kelly Reports, speaking of the officers who testified. “I would love to know what these guys thought and what they know about that matter. Maybe they know something, or was this all scripted ahead of time and everybody was playing by — by a script?”
He said no one in government seems to care that Babbitt was killed, and noted that the media is certainly not talking about the incident.
“So, when we do another one of these phony hearings, let’s make it real and let’s ask some real questions,” Kelly said, pointing out that it could be of the officer who killed Babbitt or anyone with the U.S. Capitol Police.
“I wrote them down,” he told viewers. “Number one, Ashli Babbitt was unarmed. Did you know that? If you didn’t know that what made you think she was armed?”
“Number two, to the shooter now, did you verbally order her to stop? Did you use any customary words such as ‘freeze,’ ‘halt,’ ‘go back,’ or ‘stop?'”
On that note, U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., suggested the officer did make such a command, though it was not audible in a video capturing the moment the 14-year Air Force vet was shot.
In an interview aired on CSPAN, Mullin said he hugged the “distraught” officer after the shooting, telling him he did what he had to do.
“If you’re going to present your weapon in a manner and give commands and they still don’t listen and they still approach, you don’t have a choice,” the GOP lawmaker said.
“Three,” Kelly continued, “police guidelines and law dictates that deadly force not be used unless there is an imminent risk of death to the officer or someone else. What deadly threat did you perceive? Please explain especially as she was unarmed and not within reach of a Capitol Hill police officer or a member of Congress.”
“Four, did you have any awareness of the presence of the BLM activist John Sullivan, who was recording your shooting of Ashli Babbitt?” the Newsmax TV host pressed on. “Number five, what were your personal political views of President Trump [and] Trump supporters? If negative, as has been suggested, could that have had any bearing on your decision to shoot?”
Kelly concluded by saying, “I think those are pretty valid questions, and they deserve answers.”
As for the identity of the officer who shot Babbitt, Capitol Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett dropped a name while testifying before Congress, suggesting that it was Lt. Michael Byrd, though there has been no official confirmation.
Byrd had reportedly left his loaded handgun in a public restroom on Capitol Hill in 2019.
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