/ February 5, 2024
The FBI has twice refused to turn over files on Ashli Babbitt, the U.S. Air Force veteran who was shot and killed during the Jan. 6, 2021 protest, the watchdog group which filed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests said.
Judicial Watch, claiming a “cover-up,” on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the FBI refused comply with FOIA requests for any files it has on Babbitt and her husband Aaron.
In its new FOIA suit, Judicial Watch said that not only has the FBI refused its two demands for files but that the bureau has also stiff-armed the Department of Justice office that advocates FOIA compliance, the Office of Information Policy.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “Ashli Babbit was the only homicide victim on Jan. 6, yet the FBI has been illicitly hiding its files on Ashli from her family for a year. Why the cover-up?”
In its four-page filing, the attorney for Aaron Babbitt and Judicial Watch said, “the FBI has failed to produce the requested records or demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from production; or notify plaintiffs of the scope of any responsive records they intend to produce or withhold and the reasons for any withholdings.”
Judicial Watch is working with Aaron Babbitt, who is the executor of his wife’s estate, to get all the information the government has on the duo and its reports of her shooting death by then-U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd as she attempted to enter the House Speaker’s Lobby unarmed. Byrd later said he shot Babbitt as a “last resort.” He was subsequently promoted to captain.
Judicial Watch and Aaron Babbitt also recently joined in filing a $30 million wrongful death suit against the U.S. government in the death of the 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt.
“Judicial Watch and our supporters are honored to represent Ashli’s steadfast widower Aaron Babbitt and her estate in this legal action. Ashli was shot in cold blood, and the rule of law requires justice for her,” Fitton said.
In the wrongful death suit, a new camera angle of the shooting was provided. The time-stamped video showed an unarmed Babbitt being pushed into the House Speaker’s Lobby as Byrd raises his gun. After he shot, she fell back, bleeding from the shoulder and neck.
According to the suit, “Ashli remained conscious for minutes or longer after being shot by Lt. Byrd. Ashli experienced extreme pain, suffering, mental anguish, and intense fear before slipping into pre-terminal unconsciousness. The autopsy report identified the cause of death as a ‘gunshot wound to left anterior shoulder’ with an onset interval of ‘minutes.’ The fact that Ashli was alive and conscious in extreme pain and suffering is documented in videos of the shooting.”
The suit continues, “Furthermore, nothing about the wound track described in the autopsy report would be expected to result in immediate death or instantaneous loss of consciousness, and Ashli’s lungs contained blood, further confirming that she was alive and breathing after being shot. Ashli was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center at 3:15 p.m. The medical examiner determined that the manner of death was homicide.”
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