The watchdog group Judicial Watch says the government continues to stonewall efforts to learn more about the killing of January 6 protester and Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, as well as the FBI's role that day.
Babbitt, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police Lieutenant as she started to climb through a broken interior window in the U.S. Capitol after a rally supporting President Trump.
Prosecutors and the Capitol Police cleared the officer, Lieutenant Michael Byrd, of any wrongdoing.
Below is the summary from Judicial Watch of its legal efforts to date.
FROM JUDICIAL WATCH:
"January 6 has become a touchstone in the uneven application of justice aginst those who lean conservative. In particular, the obviously political secrecy and stonewalling in the police killing of Ashli Babbitt is undermining the rule of law.
Undaunted by the obstacles thrown our way, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records related to the shooting death of 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021, in the U.S. Capitol Building.
Babbitt was shot and killed as she climbed through a broken interior window in the United State Capitol. She was unarmed. The identity of the shooter was kept secret by Congress as well as federal and local authorities for eight months until U.S. Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd went public to try to defend his killing of Ms. Babbitt.
On April 14, 2021, the Justice Department issued a press release stating: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, the Office announced today.”
We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, the Civil Rights Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (all components of the Justice Department) failed to provide the records responsive to our April 14, 2021 and May 20, 2021, FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice) (No. 1:21-cv-02462)) for:
- All records, including but not limited to, investigative reports, photographs, witness statements, dispatch logs, schematics, ballistics, and video footage, concerning the January 6, 2021 death of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol Building.
- All draft and final prosecution declination memoranda related to the death of Ashli Babbitt.
- All Office of the US Attorney for the District of Columbia officials’ electronic communications concerning Ashli Babbitt and the investigation of her death.
- All DOJ Civil Rights Division officials’ electronic communications concerning Ashli Babbitt and the investigation of her death.
- All FBI officials' electronic communications concerning Ashli Babbitt and the investigation of er death. The time frame for the requested records is January 6, 2021 to the present.
This lawsuit is part of our multi-faceted investigation into January 6.
Earlier this month, the District of Columbia asked a court for an additional delay to respond to our FOIA lawsuit for records related to the U.S. Capitol Police shooting Babbitt to death.
We recently filed a motion for discovery in our lawsuit against the United States Capitol Police (USCP) for emails and videos concerning the Capitol disturbance. The Capitol Police are trying to shut down the lawsuit by arguing that the requested records are “not public records.”
On August 3, we announced that we obtained new documents showing the Washington, D.C. Medical Examiner submitted a request to cremate Babbitt two days after gaining custody of her body. The documents also showed that Babbitt’s fingerprints were emailed to a person supposedly working for the D.C. government, which resulted in Microsoft “undeliverable” messages written in Chinese characters being returned.
Also in August, we uncovered records related to the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick which show major media representatives pressuring the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) of the District of Columbia over its conclusion that Officer Sicknick had died of natural causes.
In July, we announced a lawsuit against the FBI for records of communication between the FBI and several financial institutions about the reported transfer of financial transactions made by people in DC, Maryland and Virginia on January 5 and January 6, 2021. The FBI has refused to confirm or deny the existence of any such records.
In May, we sued both the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense for records regarding the deployment of armed forces around the Capitol complex in Washington, D.C., in January and February of 2021.
We also filed a lawsuit for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s communications with the Pentagon in the days after the January 6 incident.
And now that the Deep State leaked that at least one of its (the FBI’s) informants entered the Capitol that day and told them there was no grand conspiracy, it shows that the lies about 1/6 are likely to rival the Russiagate hoax. All the more reason that we’re not going to let this investigation go."
I saw the interview with the Capitol police officer and NBC's Lester Holt on the Ashli Babbitt shooting. It appears to me that the officer indicted himself. He said he saw that she was not armed and she was not yet on the other side of the interior window where she could be near enough to the officer to be an immediate threat to him or others. It is clear that she was not a threat to anyone else and there were at least two officers in the crowd right behind Ashli. In my opinion, from the shooting video and the Lester Holt interview, it is clear that Ashli was not a threat to him or anyone else at the time he shot and killed her. Police are not allowed to use lethal force; i.e., shoot and kill for misdemeanors where there is no immediate threat to police or others. Ashli, posed no immediate threat and was unjustly shot and killed for trespassing, the officer should be charged.
Had Ashli not been shot dead for trespassing she could have been charged with trespassing, and possibly other violations of law, and had her day in court as are hundreds of other Jan. 6th law breakers.. Unfortunately, Ashli, posing no threat, had to face an immediate death sentence and, so far, our "judicial system" says that is just fine. Another example of a broken, two tiered justice system and a federal government that does not serve the people.