Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) claimed that Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by police during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, was “executed.”
CLIP: @RepGosar at January 6th U.S. Capitol Attack hearing: “The DoJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 12, 2021
During Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing, Gosar asked former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, “Who executed Ashli Babbitt?” He made sure to first mention that “Babbitt was unarmed,” and then “referred to her death as a homicide,” reports Vice News. The Arizona representative invoked a similar sentiment via tweet. Prosecutors determined the officer who shot Babbitt will not face charges.
The people have a right to know: who executed an unarmed 100lb woman at point blank range with no warnings, no commands or non-lethal force? pic.twitter.com/eTrgyhM8on
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) May 12, 2021
Gosar then went on to accuse the Department of Justice of “harassing peaceful patriots across the country,” seemingly referring to those implicated in the DOJ’s investigation. Five people died in connection with the Capitol riot, and more have faced charges such as violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Analysts were quick to weigh in, calling Gosar’s comments a “new low” and “nauseating.”
New low — Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), a promoter of the Big Lie, just mounted a full-throated defense of the Capitol rioters. He called them “peaceful patriots,” and condemned the fact that they are now under DOJ investigation. He also decried that some of them are in jail.
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) May 12, 2021
Watching insurrectionist Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) asking questions at a House Oversight Committee on the January 6 insurrection—when he is a criminal and insurrectionist himself, and will eventually, I believe, be arrested for it—is nauseating to a degree that I can’t even describe
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 12, 2021
Gosar has “repeatedly been criticized by other lawmakers and outside groups for spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and other issues,” writes The Hill. He has also been named as someone who helped plan the events of Jan. 6, according to The Washington Post.
The defense of Capitol rioters was a general theme of the Wednesday hearing, wrote CNN’s John King.
GOP thematics at Jan. 6 hearing so far: Trump did nothing wrong, Trump supporters lost lives that day, was mostly a peaceful protest for free elections, law enforcement overly zealous investigating now. Some parallel universes are dangerous – to the truth and to democracy.
— John King (@JohnKingCNN) May 12, 2021
Watch the full C-SPAN video here.