Former President Donald Trump appeared in a video message to wish happy birthday to the late Ashli Babbitt, the woman fatally shot by a police officer at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 breach. Trump additionally took the opportunity to call for the Justice Department to reopen its investigation into her death.
The Capitol Police officer who fired the shot that killed Babbitt was formerly exonerated by the department following an assessment by the Office of Professional Responsibility that concluded his conduct was "lawful and within Department policy."
"It is my great honor to address each of you gathered today to cherish the memory of Ashli Babbitt, a truly incredible person. On that horrible day of Jan. 6, Ashli arrived at the United States Capitol. She was shot and tragically killed. Today would have been her birthday. Happy birthday, Ashli," said the former president in the message.
Specifically, Trump expressed sympathy to Babbitt's husband and mother to whom he said, "Together we grieve her terrible loss. There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day."
"I offer my unwavering support to Ashli's family and call on the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death on January 6. Like all Americans, you deserve fair process. You deserve answers and you deserve justice."
This spring, federal prosecutors opted not to bring charges in the case of Babbitt's death after concluding that there was "no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt" that her shooting was an unlawful act.
The video from Trump was played at a gathering of Babbitt's friends and family in Freeport, Texas over the weekend. The video was followed by applause and chants of "U-S-A" from those in attendance.