TRUMP: “I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt. They’re protecting that person. I have heard also that it was the head of security for a certain high official, a Democrat. And we will see, because it’s going to come out. It’s going to come out.” — on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
THE FACTS: No, the officer who shot and killed Babbitt was not head of security for a Democratic official. He is a police lieutenant on the 2,000-member Capitol Police force that protects the buildings and grounds.
The force guards members of Congress regardless of their party. Democratic and Republican lawmakers do not employ their own security services at the Capitol. All depend on the nonpartisan force as well as on local police officers in some cases. Trump’s linking of the officer to a top Democrat is baseless.
Babbitt was shot by the officer when she tried to climb through a door with the glass smashed out as she and others in the mob pressed to get into the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House chamber. She was unarmed.
Federal prosecutors cleared the officer of any wrongdoing after an investigation into the shooting and did not publicly name him. Capitol Police, concerned for his safety, have also not released his name. The officer’s attorney, Mark Schamel, said his client is facing “many credible death threats” and other “horrific threats” and was forced from his home because of them.
The Associated Press is not naming the officer because of the concerns for his safety.
The fact that the officer was not in uniform at the time has fed into the conspiracy theories that Trump is encouraging. Officers in the security details for high-ranking lawmakers wear plainclothes. But so do other members of the Capitol Police at times. It depends on their assignment.
The furor that Trump and others on the right are building over Ashli Babbitt's death makes a lot more sense when you learn that they have been convinced since January that the cop who killed her was a black man: https://t.co/hGLlrgpgGu— Josh Kovensky (@JoshKovensky) July 14, 2021
"This is a very old script, which is why historians are comparing the story Trump is telling now about Babbitt to one from nine decades back about Horst Wessel, the famed Nazi “martyr.” @mattklewis— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) July 13, 2021
https://t.co/BYpXaZnL80 via @thedailybeast