Liz Cheney says it was 'disgusting and despicable' for fellow GOP Rep. Paul Gosar to accuse Capitol Police of 'lying in wait' for January 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt

·3 min read
liz cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Mark Makela/Reuters
  • Liz Cheney rebuked Paul Gosar for saying the Capitol Police "executed" Ashli Babbitt.

  • Babbitt, one of the January 6 rioters, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer.

  • "It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day," Cheney said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Tuesday criticized fellow Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona for placing the blame for the death of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt with the Capitol Police.

In a tweet, Cheney - one of the most prominent Republican critics of former President Donald Trump's role in the January 6 Capitol riot - rebuked Gosar for his comments.

"On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near @RepGosar and helped him open his gas mask," she wrote. "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."

During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday, Gosar questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray about Babbitt, who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer.

After Gosar asked Wray if he knew who "executed" Babbitt, Wray said that he didn't know the name of the officer who was involved in the shooting.

"It's disturbing," Gosar said at the hearing. "The Capitol Police officer that did this shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait, and then gave no warning before killing her."

Read more: Steve Bannon asked Trump's DOJ to reimburse more than $1 million in legal fees from the Russia probe

In April, the Department of Justice announced that it would not pursue charges against the officer who shot and killed Babbitt.

In a statement at the time, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said "the investigation 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."

On Tuesday, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a vocal Trump critic, also criticized Gosar for his comments regarding Babbitt.

"You're sick Paul, sadly," he tweeted. "Truth is, Ashli was manipulated by people like you and breached an area and put lives in danger despite being repeatedly warned not to. The real criminals are the liars abusing people for political power."

Since the January 6 riot, some of the most conservative House members have tried to downplay the severity of the attack, including Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who described the harrowing scene at the Capitol as similar to a "normal tourist visit."

Later on Tuesday, Gosar and 20 other House Republicans voted against legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to police officers who protected lawmakers during the riot.

The legislation easily cleared the House in a 406-21 vote.

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