- Trump showed no “remorse” when he was told Babbitt had been shot, the Jan. 6 committee found.
- “We found no evidence that the President expressed any remorse that day,” the committee said.
- Babbitt was among several Trump supporters who tried to break into the House chamber on January 6.
The House select committee investigating the deadly January 6 Capitol siege has no evidence that President Donald Trump showed any remorse when he was told that one of his supporters had been shot while storming the Capitol.
According to the panel, Trump and his chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows, were told shortly after 3 pm on January 6, 2021, that someone had been shot in the Capitol.
“That person was Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot at 2:44 pm as she and other rioters tried to gain access to the House chamber,” the select committee said in an introductory report of its findings. The full final report is set to be released Wednesday afternoon.
“There is no indication that this affected the President’s state of mind that day, and we found no evidence that the President expressed any remorse that day,” the committee added.
Babbitt was among thousands of Trump loyalists who laid siege to the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Shortly before the attack, Trump held a rally during which he repeated the false claim that the election had been “stolen” from him and encouraged his followers to march to the Capitol.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong,” Trump said, adding, “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Babbitt was in a group of Trump supporters who tried to break into the House chamber, where several lawmakers were sheltering amid the siege. She was shot by a Capitol Police officer while she tried to climb through a broken glass panel in one of the barricaded doors to the Speaker’s Lobby, the hallway leading to the House chamber.
The Justice Department opened an investigation into the shooting and concluded that the officer’s use of force was within DOJ guidelines, and that there was reasonable evidence showing that the officer believed he was acting in self-defense or to protect lawmakers in the chamber.
Several witnesses testified to the January 6 committee that Trump refused to call his supporters off as the violence at the Capitol unfolded, even as the mob began calling for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence.
Instead, Trump tweeted at 2:24 pm on January 6 that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” referring to Pence’s refusal to unilaterally reject electors from battleground states that Trump lost.
Trump sent the tweet despite “knowing the riot was underway and that Vice President Pence was at the Capitol,” the committee said in its introductory report.
Multiple former White House officials testified to the panel that Trump’s tweet sparked panic among some in the West Wing who worried that the president’s supporters would become further inflamed and double down on calls to assassinate Pence.
Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the committee that contrary to worrying about Pence’s safety and calling off his supporters, Trump believed the vice president “deserve[d] it.”