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Former President Donald Trump issued a statement Wednesday calling for “justice” in the death of Jan. 6th rioter Ashli Babbitt.
The statement triggered outrage from California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who argued that had it not been for Babbitt being killed, he and the rest of his colleagues would have somehow been killed instead.
In his statement, the president claimed Babbitt had been “murdered.”
“I spoke to the wonderful mother and devoted husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun. We know who he is,” he said.
The name of the U.S. Capitol police officer who fatally fired on Babbitt hasn’t been released publicly for reasons that remain unclear.
“If that happened to the ‘other side,’ there would be riots all over America and yet, there are far more people represented by Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side. The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be justice!” the president added.
President Donald J. Trump:
“I spoke to the wonderful mother and devoted husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun. We know who he is. pic.twitter.com/T5Camhfzmi
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) August 11, 2021
The statement was released roughly a week after the attorney representing Babbitt’s family told investigative journalist Paul Sperry that the officer who’d killed her had failed to provide any verbal warnings before opening fire.
“It’s not debatable. There was no warning. I would call what he did an ambush. I don’t think he’s a good officer. I think he’s reckless,” attorney Terrell N. Roberts III, who reportedly specializes in police misconduct cases, said.
Roberts, who sometimes goes by the nickname Terry, is no amateur or fringe figure. Eighteen years ago, The Washington Post wrote a glowing profile about him.
“Julius LaRosa Booker was allegedly smoking crack inside a stolen van with a prostitute. Robert Zimmerman and Michael Andre Simms were charged with stealing a refrigerator from a house. Anthony Casella was convicted of helping to pull off an armed robbery of a pizza shop. Timothy S. Traynor was arrested on a warrant charging him with breaking and entering,” the Post reported.
“All of them sued the Prince George’s County Police Department, alleging that officers released police dogs on them without justification. Some said officers beat them for no reason. And in all the cases — with the plaintiffs represented by attorney Terrell N. Roberts III — the county wound up paying five- and six-figure settlements or jury awards,” the Post added.
And so, for someone with his credentials to claim that the officer had fired recklessly is a big deal. Moreover, it lends credence to — though it doesn’t necessarily prove — former President Trump’s theory that Babbitt had been murdered.
— JAMES BRIGHT (@DONJIMMY69) August 7, 2021
Yet according to Swalwell, by simply broaching this legitimate theory, the former president was endangering the life of the officer — a man whom he claims had saved his life from an unarmed 36-year-old woman of average height and build.
“That officer’s life, sadly, is in danger. He is a hero. I am alive today, my colleagues are alive because he had to make that fateful decision — one that no officer wants to make. But a mob was crashing through the doors into the Speaker’s lobby,” the congressman said during an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC.
“I saw them, I heard the smashing the pounding, the breaking of glass, the chanting. And had they gotten through, it was many of our more vulnerable members who were the last to leave that would have been overrun had that officer not acted so bravely,” he added, echoing the sort of outlandish rhetoric of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Despite the congressman’s rhetoric about “our more vulnerable members,” the evidence suggests he doesn’t actually care about the so-called “vulnerable” and may just be using them as political clout vis-a-vis the Jan. 6th riot.
During Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation hearings three years ago, Swalwell had no qualms about downplaying violent death threats against Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican.
“Boo hoo hoo. You’re a senator who police will protect. A sexual assault victim can’t sleep in her home tonight because of threats,” he wrote in a since-deleted tweet at the time, referencing since-exposed Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
“Where are you sleeping? She’s on her own while you and your @SenateGOP colleagues try to rush her through a hearing,” he added.
Collins was 65 years old at the time.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 20, 2018
However, in Swalwell’s defense, he does appear to be a longtime supporter of the police.
In 2019, he posted the Blue Lives Matter flag to Twitter, provoking massive outrage from the Democrat Party base. Yet to this day, the post remains up.
This #PoliceWeek2019, we mourn and honor the officers we lost in the last year, but vow to always remember their sacrifice. If you see a police officer this week, please thank them AND their family for serving and sacrificing. pic.twitter.com/2zX5ChUVpu
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 15, 2019
Moreover, during his appearance on MSNBC, he correctly noted that the officer who killed Babbitt has been cleared.
“That officer has been cleared by the Department of Justice. Of course, any time an officer uses their firearm, they should be investigated — and he was cleared, most importantly. And so to want to out this person after being cleared is only intended to put that person’s life in danger,” he said.
Fair enough, though on the other hand, he was cleared by a radically far-left administration that some critics say is the most politicized administration in American history …
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