After speaking out in support of the Capitol Police Officer who shot dead the January 6 protestor Ashli Babbitt, 35, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has met with Babbitt’s mother, Micki Witthoeft.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Babbitt, a 14-year U.S. Air Force and National Guard veteran, was outside the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby just before 2:45 pm. Lt. Michael Byrd alleges that he felt “threatened” by the 5’2″, 115-pound woman and fired a shot at her from his Glock 22 service weapon, hitting Babbitt in the left anterior shoulder. She died from her injuries.

On February 2, McCarthy was speaking at a press conference when a reporter asked, “Do you think Ashli Babbitt was murdered, or do you think the police officer who shot her was doing his job?”

“I think the police officer did his job,” McCarthy replied, prompting significant backlash from his party, especially Witthoeft.

Following this statement, Witthoeft said she would be stopping by McCarthy’s office to ask him about his callous remark. “I want to ask him if he’s had the stomach to watch my daughter’s murder, or if he just says whatever his handlers tell him to say,” Witthoeft said.

Micki Witthoeft

The day after McCarthy’s comments about Babbit’s death, Witthoeft went to his office in D.C. and tried to get an audience with the Speaker, which she was denied.

“I was perhaps a little aggressive with his aide,” the grieving mother admitted afterward.

When Witthoeft was at the U.S. Capitol for the House Committee on Administration hearing on February 28, Tim Monahan, a senior aide to McCarthy, approached her and asked if they could schedule a meeting for her and McCarthy in March.

Witthoeft, glad to have the opportunity to speak with McCarthy, reported that she “found the overall conversation was respectful.”

This week, Witthoeft and McCarthy finally met face-to-face, reportedly outside of McCarthy’s office.

Witthoeft also met with House Oversight Committee Chariman James Comer (R-Ky.)

A spokeswoman for Comer commented on this meeting, saying, “Chairman Comer saw Mrs. Babbitt in the hallway yesterday after his testimony on the committee’s budget with Ranking Member Raskin and was pleased for the opportunity to exchange hellos.”

Since the tragic death of her daughter on January 6, Witthoeft has been a vocal supporter of the Jan 6 defendants. She has also expressed sadness about her daughter’s misrepresentation by media outlets who labeled her an “insurrectionist,” while video footage shows that she was trying to stop rioters from vandalizing doors and windows at the Capitol building.

She has met with many GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Clay Higgins (LA), Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO), and Rep. Byron Donalds (FL).

“All of it frustrates me,” Witthoeft said. “They were American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. Some crimes were committed that day, and they should be judged on those crimes, but not beyond them and not by the day on the calendar. I feel that way about Ashli and the decisive, excessive use of force and loss of life. She was definitely violated that day.”

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