GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said police 'executed' Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot and that the feds are 'harassing peaceful patriots'

GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said police 'executed' Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot and that the feds are 'harassing peaceful patriots'
Rep. Paul Gosar.AP
  • The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday about the January 6 Capitol attack.
  • GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said the rioter who died was "executed" and that others were "peaceful patriots."
  • Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused him of downplaying the actions of "violent insurrectionists."

During a congressional hearing Wednesday, Republican and Democratic lawmakers offered up conflicting views over what occured on January 6, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol and clashed with police, forcing lawmakers to evacuate.

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona painted the people who participated in the riot as victims, referring to them as "peaceful patriots" who are being harassed by the government, and said Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was killed by Capitol police during the attack, was "executed."

The House Oversight Committee hearing included testimony about that day from former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee.

Read more: Paul Gosar is the GOP's under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior

"Outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding US citizens, especially Trump voters," Gosar said.


He referred to Babbitt, a veteran and QAnon believer who was shot and killed after she had broken into the Capitol, as a "young lady, a veteran wrapped in a US flag." Babbitt was shot as she tried to crawl through a broken out window that led to the Speaker's Lobby and House Chamber where lawmakers were evacuating.

Gosar asked Rosen who "executed" Babbitt. The officer that shot her was not charged in her death and has not been named. After an investigation, officials said there was no evidence that "the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress."

Gosar also criticized the Department of Justice for its investigation and charges brought as a result of the January 6 attack. He said the agency is "harassing peaceful patriots across the country."

To date, at least 472 people have been arrested in the Capitol insurrection, with charges that include assaulting police officers, assault with a dangerous weapon, and violent entry of the Capitol, among others.

Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia also downplayed the violent actions of the people who attacked the Capitol, and said: "It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others."


During the hearing, Democrats offered a different assessment of that day, with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida calling out her GOP colleagues directly.

"I want to take a moment to correct some of the dangerous rhetoric and falsehoods uttered by Republicans during this hearing," she said. "Mr. Gosar used his questions to downplay the actions of violent insurrectionists who left 140 police officers injured."

"It's shocking how quickly Republicans will turn on law enforcement when it fits their agenda," she said.