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GOP Rep. Gosar Comes Under Fire for Saying Capitol Rioter Was 'Executed' by Police Officer

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Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) is receiving some backlash for remarks he made about a police officer and a Capitol rioter.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Gosar mentioned Ashli Babbitt who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer on January 6. Babbitt and others attempted to breach a barricaded door in the U.S. Capitol building. Babbitt, 35, tried to leap through a section of the door and was shot.

Questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray, Gosar asked, “Do you know who executed Ashli Babbitt?”

“No, I don’t know the name of the person who was involved in the Ashli Babbitt shooting,” Wray responded after a long pause. Gosar replied, “So do you agree that Ashli Babbitt was unarmed?”

Wray said, “No, I really can’t weigh in on the facts and circumstances of that case. As you may know, that was investigated by the D.C. Metro’s internal affairs department with the DOJ Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. And the FBI was not the investigative agency.”

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Gosar then said, “It’s disturbing. The Capitol police officer that did this shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her.” He reiterated the claim that Babbitt was “executed.”

The officer’s name has not been disclosed, but the officer was cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

Gosar received criticism for his remarks, including from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

She wrote on Twitter late Tuesday, “On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near [Rep. Paul Gosar] and helped him open his gas mask. The Capitol Police led us to safety.’

“It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us,” Cheney added.

Additionally, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) also tweeted on Tuesday evening, “You’re sick Paul, sadly.”

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“Truth is, Ashli was manipulated by people like you and breached an area and put lives in danger despite being repeatedly warned not to,” Kinzinger added. “The real criminals are the liars abusing people for political power.”

Protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, on the day Congress met to formally certify the Electoral College vote count. 

The Capitol riot occurred after former President Donald Trump spoke at a “Save America Rally” in Washington, D.C., where he told his supporters to “stop the steal” of the 2020 presidential election.

The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.” He was acquitted by the Senate.

As of Friday, roughly 465 defendants have been arrested in connection to the riot on January 6, according to CBS News, which cites the Department of Justice. At least 550 people are expected to be charged.

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