The husband of slain Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt insists she would still be alive today if he had attended the January 6 rally with her.
Ashli, 36, was fatally shot by Capitol police officer Michael Byrd during the Capitol riot as she tried to climb through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House chamber while cloaked in a Trump flag.
Ashli’s husband, Aaron, told TMZ that he believes his wife wouldn’t have even stepped foot inside the Capitol building during the riot a year ago if he had flown to DC with her. He had stayed home in San Diego last January to run their pool maintenance company.
‘Nobody’s gonna watch over her or watch her back better than I could have.
‘We never would have been in the Capitol for one…that never would have happened. I wouldn’t have gone in there. That’s not my scene,’ Aaron said, explaining that he was ‘shocked’ when he found out about his wife’s final moments because they both hate crowds.
Aaron Babbitt believes his wife, Ashli, would have prevented his wife from being killed at the Capitol riot last year as he reflects on the first anniversary of her death (Pictured: Aaron Babbitt, left, with his now-deceased wife Ashli, right)
Babbitt, 36, was fatally shot by Capitol police officer Michael Byrd during the Capitol riot as she tried to climb through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby
Rioters are seen outside the Speaker’s Lobby in the seconds after Babbitt was fatally shot
In footage filmed by one of the intruders, Ashli could be seen trying to get through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby when she was shot
Aaron said Ashli decided to go to DC on January 6 while the two were celebrating Christmas in Cabo in 2020. He then discovered that his wife had entered the Capitol and been injured after a friend called to say she saw Ashli possibly hurt on TV.
Describing himself as a ‘very vigilant person’ he thinks that he would have noticed that ‘something wrong was going on around there” and picked up on signs that the situation was escalating.
‘I’m pretty sure I would have been able to pick that up pretty quickly,’ Aaron said.
The first anniversary of the Capitol riot passed this Thursday and Aaron said he was happy to see his Ashli’s name trending on Twitter.
Although he has become accustomed to death threats and hate mail, Aaron wants to keep Ashli’s memory alive.
Ashli’s death has been a lightning rod in the debate over the Capitol riot, with Trump’s loyalists painting her as a patriotic martyr, and his detractors dismissing her as a conspiracy-spouting extremist.
Ashli Babbitt flew to DC for the January 6 riot believing Donald Trump’s claims that the election had been stolen from him. She died wearing a Trump flag
An Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and previously voted for Barack Obama, Babbitt died wrapped in a flag bearing Trump’s name, convinced of his claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Babbitt was among the first of hundreds of people to breach the Capitol building’s security, as elected officials barricaded themselves in rooms, cowering from an angry mob.
In footage filmed by one of the intruders, she could be seen trying to get through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby.
‘Go! Come on!’ she shouts, encouraging those behind her to hoist her in.
As her head appears through the window, a Capitol police officer fires his weapon, striking Babbitt in the shoulder. She would die from her injuries.
An investigation into Babbitt’s death by the US Capitol Police and the United States Department of Justice determined that the shooting was ‘lawful and within Department policy.’
But Ashli’s mother, Micki Witthoeft, disagrees and said that her daughter was ‘murdered’ by Byrd, whom she called ‘careless and reckless.’
Witthoeft appeared outside the Capitol with controversial Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Thursday, demanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi release surveillance footage from the shooting and calling for ‘justice’ for those arrested in the riot, whom she called political prisoners.
Ashli Babbitt’s mother Micki Witthoeft (right) appeared outside the Capitol with controversial Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on the anniversary of her daughter’s death
Ashli Babbitt’s mother Micki Witthoeft along with others during a candlelight vigil on the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot
Michelle Witthoeft speaks at a vigil sponsored by Look Ahead America to protest the treatment of prisoners charged in connection with the attack on the Capitol
‘I feel like the Capitol police need to change the way they do things, they operate with impunity, which I did not know until my daughter was publicly executed,’ Witthoeft told reporters.
Witthoeft addressed Pelosi, telling the House speaker: ‘This is not your playhouse or your private domain.’
‘These surveillance cameras were put up to capture what happened that day, the American people have a right to see the 14,000 hours of footage,’ she said.
She appeared to be referring to footage provided by Capitol police to two key committees investigating the Capitol assault, The House Administration Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, which has not been made public.
‘You’re not the queen, Nancy Pelosi. This is America’s 14,000 hours of missing footage. We have a right to see it,’ said Witthoeft.
Ashli was born in 1985 to a modest Southern California family in the San Diego suburbs, where politics was not particularly important, said Roger Witthoeft, one of her four younger brothers in an interview with AFP.
She enlisted in the Air Force at 17-years-old, straight from school, and did tours of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Witthoeft called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to release surveillance footage from the shooting
U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd is seen minutes before fatally shooting Babbitt she and other rioters were breaking into the Speaker’s Lobby where members of Congress were retreating
Subsequent spells in the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard led to a posting near Washington, as well as two more deployments to the Middle East.
Ashli left the military as a relatively low-ranking senior airman in 2016, several years before she would have become eligible for a pension or other benefits, and she returned to her hometown, not far from the Mexican border.
There, she and her second husband took over a struggling pool maintenance company.
In videos posted to social media, Ashli raged against both the homeless and undocumented migrants, castigating Democratic elected officials for ‘refusing to acknowledge or even admit that we do need’ a wall on the Mexican border — Trump’s signature campaign pledge.
‘The border is an absolute s**t show,’ she said. ‘There’s riots, there’s arrests, there’s rapes, there’s drugs… there are tons of issues.
‘I want my politicians to start coming down here and telling me that my reality is a lie. You guys refuse to choose America over your stupid political party.’
She attended Trump rallies wearing the red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat that symbolized the movement, and presented herself on Twitter as a ‘libertarian.’
It was here that she railed against the ‘pedophiles’ and ‘satanists’ she believed controlled the Democratic Party.
To her brother, Babbitt was just ‘a normal Californian.’ ‘The issues she was mad about were the things all of us are mad about,’ he said.
‘That was one of her things — for the first time in her life, she could actually say what she wanted to say, and didn’t have to bottle it up’ as she had had to do in the military.
When the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the United States, Ashli embraced the anti-science rhetoric of the hard right.
A sign posted on the door of her company read: ‘Mask free autonomous zone, better known as America,’ where ‘we shake hands like men.’
Antifa demonstrators hold a sign reading ‘Ashli Babbitt deserved it’ days after her death
A portrait of Ashli Babbitt who was shot dead during the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, hangs on a fence on the first anniversary of the event outside the Capitol on Thursday
On January 5, she took to social media again, writing: ‘Nothing will stop us…they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon (Washington) DC in less than 24 hours…dark to light!’
The phraseology is common among followers of QAnon, the loose amalgam of conspiracy theories that sees present-day politics as an existential fight between good and evil.
For some fellow travelers, this invocation was enough to earn Babbitt immortality as a woman fighting for the soul of America, a tragic heroine who fell in battle.
Babbitt’s mother told The Washington Post her daughter ‘made the ultimate sacrifice’ to bring attention to what she said was ‘a stolen election.’
But she acknowledged that not everyone agrees.
‘Half the country loves her and half the country hates her,’ she told the paper. ‘It’s weird to have your child belong to the world.’
Celeste Norris, pictured, revealed Monday how she was rammed and stalked by slain Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt four years before the January 6, 2020, attacks
DailyMail.com first revealed last year how Babbit had harassed, chased and rammed Celeste Norris with her SUV in July of 2016.
At the time, Babbit, then 30, was engaged in an extramarital affair with Norris’ then boyfriend of six years, Aaron Babbit – the man Babbit would eventually wed.
Now, however, speaking publicly for the first time since the incident with the Associated Press, jilted lover Norris decided to detail the horrors she faced at the hands of the late Air Force veteran, who has been hailed as a hero by right-wingers for her part in the 2020 attacks.
Norris, 40, told the Press exclusively Monday that her first encounter with Babbitt in 2015 was a rude one, when the future insurrectionist rammed her vehicle three times with an SUV, and proceeded to exit the car and pound on the window of Norris’ Ford Explorer, challenging her to a fight.
Norris has revealed exclusive photos of her car after it was repeatedly smashed by Babbitt’s SUV in 2016
‘She pulls up yelling and screaming,’ Norris said in an exclusive interview with The Press, recounting the July 29, 2016, incident, which occurred in Prince Frederick, Maryland.
‘It took me a good 30 seconds to figure out who she was.’
Norris added that Babbitt – who was married to another man during the affair – also hit her with a barrage of ‘all sorts of expletives, telling me to get out of the car, that she was going to beat my ass.’