Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) argued on Tuesday that the right’s fascination with the death of Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol insurrection is not actually about accountability, despite what boosters of the cause suggest.
Kinzinger told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday that if the person shot “was BLM, or if this was actually Antifa, or if this was Muslims,” then the reaction would have been far different. “I guarantee you, [Rep.] Paul Gosar (R-AZ) would be the one defending the action of the officer instead of calling that officer who in my mind, is a hero, a murderer,” he said.
Kinzinger was referring to efforts by Gosar, the Arizona congressman who makes a show of paling around with the far-right, to make a martyr out of Babbitt.
Gosar has used hearings about Jan. 6 before the House Oversight Committee to ask “who executed Ashli Babbitt?” He has made unearthing the identity of the officer who shot and killed Babbitt on Jan. 6 a crusade, and issued a statement on Tuesday applauding former president Trump’s decision to ask the same question.
Trump also said at a Saturday rally in Florida that, “if that were on the other side, the person that did the shooting would be strung up and hung.”
A Capitol police officer shot and killed Babbitt as she tried to make it through a window into the House Speaker’s Gallery, on the other side of which members of Congress were evacuating.
Kinzinger called the officer a “hero,” and said that “frankly, if she hadn’t been shot, as sad as it is that she was, that she was misled, you could have seen more people breach and more deaths.”