‘Despicable’: Cheney Blasts Gosar For Efforts To ‘Smear’ Officers Who Protected Capitol On Jan. 6

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) listens during a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Republican members spoke ... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) listens during a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Republican members spoke about the Biden administration's immigration policies and the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 16, 2021 9:03 a.m.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Tuesday night blasted what she called “disgusting and despicable” efforts by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)  to “smear” the U.S. Capitol Police officers who protected lawmakers when a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us,” Cheney, now a former House GOP conference chair, wrote on Twitter. She detailed her own experience standing nearby the Arizona Republican before Capitol Police — risking their own lives — led lawmakers to safety.

Cheney’s ouster from her House leadership position last month, coincided with her refusal to stay quiet in calls for accountability in the Capitol attack and repudiation of former President Donald Trump’s role in inciting the insurrection.

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Her comments come after a House Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday, where Gosar shifted his questions for FBI director Christopher Wray toward the U.S. Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was among a pro-Trump group that sought to gain entrance to the House floor through the Speaker’s Lobby while officers were evacuating lawmakers from the chamber, according to a Justice Department statement. Babbitt died from her injuries after being taken to the hospital, the statement said. 

Gosar on Tuesday demanded answers about why the FBI hasn’t shared the name of the officer involved in the fatal shooting. Prosecutors in April had said they would not pursue criminal charges against the officer who shot Babbitt in the shoulder as she sought to climb through one of the doors.

“It’s disturbing,” Gosar told Wray. The Arizona lawmaker then declared that Babbitt had been “executed.”

“The Capitol Police officer that did that shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her,” Gosar said.

The abrupt turn in questioning came as Gosar on Tuesday joined 20 other House Republicans in voting against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to the officers who protected the Capitol on Jan. 6, in a 405-21 vote.

Months ago, Gosar was also among the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election results on Jan. 6 and had promoted Trump’s big election lie.

Responding to Gosar’s suggestion that Babbitt had been “executed,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who had joined Cheney in voting to inpeach Trump for his role in inciting the riot in January, wrote on Twitter Tuesday night: “You’re sick Paul, sadly.”

“Ashli was manipulated by people like you and breached an area and put lives in danger despite being repeatedly warned not to,” he added.

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