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Former President Donald Trump reportedly recorded a video message marking the birthday of Ashli Babbitt — his supporter who was shot and killed by police after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — in which he wished her a happy birthday and called on the Justice Department to reopen its investigation into her death.
The prerecorded video was reportedly played Sunday in Texas, where Babbitt's family and friends had gathered in honor of what would have been her 36th birthday.
“On that horrible day of Jan. 6, Ashli arrived at the United States Capitol,” Trump said in the two-minute video, which was posted to social media by Ford Fischer, a Washington, D.C.-based video producer who was at the event. “She was shot and tragically killed. Today would have been her birthday. Happy birthday, Ashli.”
Trump called Babbitt “a truly incredible person” whose "memory will live on in our hearts for all time.”
“Together we grieve her terrible loss,” he continued. “There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family, so on this solemn occasion as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair and nonpartisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt.”
“I offer my unwavering support to Ashli’s family," Trump added, "and call on the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death.”
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., also reportedly recorded a video for the event, which was held at a country club in Freeport.
Babbitt was among the mob of Trump supporters who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and tried to break through the barricaded doors of the Speaker's Lobby. She was fatally shot by Lt. Michael Byrd, a Capitol Police officer who was trying to protect dozens of House members and staff who were sheltering inside the House chamber.
The Justice Department in April concluded that Byrd acted reasonably, and a separate internal investigation by the Capitol Police completed in August found no wrongdoing.
In an interview with NBC News following the Capitol Police probe, Byrd said he fired his gun only as a “last resort."
“Once we barricaded the doors, we were essentially trapped where we were,” he said. “There was no way to retreat. No other way to get out.”
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