Family of Ashli Babbitt plans lawsuits, demands answers about who killed the pro-Trump veteran

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WASHINGTON, DC – The family of Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran that was fatally shot by U.S. Capitol Police during the January 6th riot, has recently filed one of two planned lawsuits relating to her death during the riot.

According to reports, the family of Babbitt filed a civil suit earlier in June in order to obtain the records that would reveal the identity of the U.S. Capitol Police lieutenant that fatally shot Babbitt as she was breaching a window that led to the Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol Building.

This suit, which was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleges that the MPD failed to meet a May 12th deadline associated with a Freedom of Information Act request that was filed by Babbitt’s husband, Aaron Babbitt.

Terrell Roberts, an attorney representing Babbitt’s family, says that the ignored FOIA request was meant to gather information pertaining to the investigation into Babbitt’s death as well as uncover the identity of the officer who fatally shot her.

An initial scheduling conference for the lawsuit regarding the FOIA request is reportedly slated for 9:30 a.m. on September 30th, with Judge Florence Pan presiding over the scheduling conference.

Family attorney Roberts also added that this civil suit pertaining to the FOIA request is separate from an impending lawsuit where Babbitt’s plans to sue the police department and the officer for $10 million over Babbitt’s death.

Back in early April, following a months’ long investigation by the Justice Department, it was decided that the officer that fatally shot Babbitt on January 6th will not be facing any charges related to the incident.

This forthcoming lawsuit relating to Babbitt’s death, according to Roberts, alleges that the U.S. Capitol Police violated Babbitt’s constitutional right against the use of excessive force and further alleges that the department failed “to train, discipline and supervise the officer who killed Babbitt.”

Prosecutors said that during the course of the investigation, the likes of video available from the incident, as well as statements from witnesses and the officer who shot Babbitt led prosecutors to find no criminal acts were committed by the officer.

In a statement by prosecutors connected to the case, the following was noted about the conclusion of the investigation:

“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”

Mark Schamel, a lawyer who is representing the unnamed officer who shot Babbitt, felt that prosecutors arrived at “the only correct conclusion” and said that his client’s actions that day “saved the lives of countless members of Congress and the rioters.”

Schamel added that he believes the U.S. Capitol Police lieutenant exercised great “restraint” when only firing off a single round while the chaos was unfolding:

“He used tremendous restraint in only firing one shot, and his actions stopped the mob from breaking through and turning a horrific day in American history into something so much worse.”

While there are those that feel the unidentified officer employed excessive force when he shot Babbitt on January 6th, Schamel says that his client’s actions were “nothing short of heroic”:

“His bravery on January 6 was nothing short of heroic. He stopped the rioters from gaining entry into the Speaker’s Lobby and saved the lives of countless members of Congress and the rioters. His heroism should be no surprise to those who know him.”

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In other news pertaining to the Capitol riot, one of the rioters has reportedly pleaded guilty in an effort to avoid charges that could’ve seen the man facing 20 years in prison. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in June. 

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WASHINGTON, DC – One of the rioters who participated in the events of January 6th has reportedly pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. 

While the offense can carry up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250K, a plea deal will reportedly see the rioter only facing between 15 and 21 months in prison.

According to reports, 38-year-old Paul Allard Hodgkins has accepted a plea deal with respect to his participation in the January 6th riot that took place at the Capitol building. 

Hodgkins was reportedly seen on camera inside of the Senate Chambers adorning a Trump shirt and flag, which is certainly compelling evidence of him having unlawfully breached the Capitol building. 

However, it is unclear if Hodgkins engaged in any other unlawful activity outside of the aforementioned. 

On June 2nd, Hodgkins reportedly entered a plea of guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, which said felony typically can see someone facing up to 20 years in prison – on top of fines up to a quarter-million dollars. 

However, Judge Randolph Ross estimated that the defendants time in prison would be somewhere in the realm of 15 and 21 months, alongside a considerably smaller fine, around $2,000.

Reports indicate that he was originally charged with four additional felonies after his February arrest, which were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Hodgkins will be sentenced on July 19th. 

Hodgkins now marks the second Capitol rioter to have pleaded guilty, with the first having been the guitarist for the heavy metal band Iced Earth, Jon Schaffer, back in April

Reportedly, Schaffer has informed authorities that he’s a member of the Oath Keepers militia, and he’s slated to fully cooperate with the government’s investigation into the January 6th riot. 

Schaffer is reportedly out on bail while he is awaiting sentencing. 

A plea bargain is also reportedly in the works for New Mexico elected official Couy Griffin, who was allegedly outside of the Capitol building during the riot but was still within the confines of a “restricted area.”

On January 18th, Griffin was charged with entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Griffin feels that since he didn’t actually enter the Capitol building, his charges should be dismissed. 

Court documents show that Griffin’s attorney’s have filed a motion to dismiss, citing the case that was dismissed against Christopher Kelly earlier this year since Kelly was noted as having not entered the Capitol building. 

The motion pertaining to Griffin’s request for a dismissal notes in reference to the Kelly case: 

“Since this development followed briefing on Griffin’s motion to dismiss, Griffin respectfully requests that the Court take it into account in considering his arguments concerning arbitrary enforcement of § 1752, in light of the government’s concession that Griffin did not enter the Capitol Building.”

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