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.
On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near @RepGosar and helped him open his gas mask. The Capitol Police led us to safety. It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us. https://t.co/GKsnekHBKx
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) June 16, 2021
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.
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.
You’re sick Paul, sadly. Truth is, Ashli was manipulated by people like you and breached an area and put lives in danger despite being repeatedly warned not to. The real criminals are the liars abusing people for political power. https://t.co/II87W8J6DD
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) June 16, 2021