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Trump releases video for slain veteran Ashli Babbitt’s birthday; calls for reopened investigation into her death

President Donald J. Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
October 11, 2021

On Sunday, Former President Donald Trump wished a happy birthday to Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the January 6 Capitol storming. Trump also called for the Justice Department to reopen its investigation into Babbitt’s death.

“It is my great honor to address each of you gathered today to cherish the memory of Ashli Babbitt, a truly incredible person,” Trump said in a video message. Babbitt’s family and friends played the video during a gathering in Freeport, Texas, over the weekend.

“On that horrible day of Jan. 6, Ashli arrived at the United States Capitol. She was shot and tragically killed,” he continued. “Today would have been her birthday. Happy birthday, Ashli.”

Trump offered the veteran’s family his sympathies, specifically Babbitt’s husband and mother.

“Together we grieve her terrible loss. There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day,” he said. “We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family.”

Trump added that he wanted to “renew our call for a fair and nonpartisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt.”

“I offer my unwavering support to Ashli’s family and call on the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death on Jan. 6,” Trump said to cheers from the event’s attendees. “Like all Americans, you deserve fair process. You deserve answers and you deserve justice.”

Trump’s message honoring Ashli Babbitt was followed by rowdy applause and chants of “U-S-A.”

In August, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) announced that the officer who shot Babbitt would not face any disciplinary action.

Following an internal investigation involving several witnesses and “all available evidence,” the USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) “determined the officer’s conduct was lawful and within Department policy, which says an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.”

The officer later revealed his identity in an interview with NBC Nightly News.

“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Lt. Michael Byrd claimed. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”

In April, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice closed an investigation into the fatal shooting and announced the officer involved would not face any charges.