Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Ashli Babbitt Was Trying To Stop Jan. 6 Rioters
Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has said deceased Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt was trying to stop other January 6 protesters from breaking into the Speaker’s Lobby.
Greene shared a video to Twitter on Friday and asserted that Babbitt had been wrongly killed when she was shot by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer, Lt. Michael Byrd, who has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The claim that Babbitt was attempting to prevent rioting or damage at the Capitol is not new. Fact checking site PolitiFact reviewed claims that Babbitt “was fighting to halt the mob” in January, 2022 along with videos used to support that claim.
PolitiFact concluded that “the suggestion that Babbitt was trying to stop the mob’s advances was based largely on speculation about what she was doing, saying and feeling in the moments leading up to her death.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) also concluded in its investigation that Babbitt was part of the mob that had entered the Capitol and did not say that she had tried to stop other alleged rioters.
Greene shared a tweet on Friday that referred to an article from The Washington Examiner about how Lt. Byrd had been housed for six months in a hotel paid for by the Department of Defense.
“Who at DOD decided to provide taxpayer funded protection for the man who killed unarmed Ashli Babbit?” Greene wrote. “Videos on J6 show Ashli hitting another man as she tried to stop people from going in. People shouldn’t have gone in the Capitol but Ashli was wrongly killed & lied about.”
The Republican then retweeted that post and included a video which purports to show Babbitt attempting to stop alleged rioter Zachary Alam, who is accused of breaking the window into the Speaker’s Lobby, which Babbitt later climbed through.
Babbitt was shot by Lt. Byrd while climbing through that window. U.S. Capitol Police later concluded that Byrd’s conduct was “lawful and within Department policy,” while the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia declined to bring charges against Lt. Byrd
“Watch the video yourself of Ashli Babbitt punch and try to stop Zachary Alam,” Greene tweeted. “Alam was a J6 rioter, not anyone who worked in the Capitol. Most people don’t know this. Now imagine what else you don’t know and have just been told. This is why we have to release the tapes.”
The video she shared shows a woman hitting a man’s face and knocking off his glasses during the riot.
Alam has been charged with multiple offenses including using a dangerous weapon, civil disorder and aiding and abetting, and destruction of government property exceeding $1,000. He has pleaded not guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C.
PolitiFact noted last year that another rioter who was near Babbitt at the time, Thomas Baranyi, said in an interview that police were telling Babbitt to stop but “she didn’t heed the call.”
Baranyi pleaded guilty to several charges and was sentenced to 90 days in jail as well as one year of supervised release, 60 hours of community service and $500 restitution.
The DOJ concluded its investigation into Babbitt’s death and issued a press release about the matter on April 14, 2021.
“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy,” the statement said. “Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”
DOJ’s investigation “determined that Ms. Babbitt was among a mob of people that entered the Capitol building and gained access to a hallway outside ‘Speaker’s Lobby,’ which leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
The probe “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.”
Newsweek has asked the DOJ and Marjorie Taylor Greene for comment.