The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has condemned former President Donald Trump for his repeated threats and menacing comments towards the Capitol police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during the 6 January riot.
“Enough is enough. These attacks are disgusting, wrong and a wholly unacceptable way to treat the men and women who went through hell to protect our democracy from armed insurrectionists,” Robyn Patterson, a spokesperson for Ms Pelosi, said in a statement.
Earlier, a California representative accused Mr Trump of putting the life of the Capitol police officer who shot Babbitt in danger.
Babbitt was part of the mob of pro-Trump rioters that stormed the US Capitol on 6 January in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.
The air force veteran was shot by a Capitol police officer as she was forcing her way through a broken glass door near the Speaker’s Lobby and later died of her injuries.
“That officer’s life sadly is in danger,” Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell, who was present at the Capitol during the riots, said in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.
The congressman described the officer as a “hero”, saying: “I am alive today and my colleagues are alive because he had to make that fateful decision, one that no officer wants to make”.
Mr Swalwell continued: “A mob was crashing through the doors into the Speaker’s Lobby. I saw them, I heard the smashing, the pounding, the breaking of glass, the chanting.”
The lawmaker said if the mob had made it past security that “many of our more vulnerable members who were the last to leave would have been overrun had that officer not acted so bravely.”
In April, the US attorney’s office for Washington DC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) closed the investigation into Babbitt’s shooting, ruling they would not pursue criminal charges against the Capitol police officer. The officer has not been identified.
“To want to out this person after being cleared is only intended to put that person’s life in danger,” Mr Swalwell said.
Following the death of Babbitt, a number of conservatives, including Mr Trump, have come to paint her as a patriotic martyr and have pushed a racist conspiracy theory surrounding the officer who shot her.
Mr Swalwell’s comments come in response to a particular statement from Mr Trump on Wednesday during which he said he knew the identity of the officer who fatally shot Ms Babbitt on 6 January.
“I spoke to the wonderful mother and devoted husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun,” the former president said. “We know who he is.”
Mr Trump has increasingly made reference to Babbitt in recent months and has also made inaccurate claims that she was shot “right through the head”. The DOJ ruled that Babbitt was shot in the shoulder.
While investigating the shooting, the DOJ examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy.
“Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” they said.