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Judicial Watch announced on Wednesday it received 62 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, showing that the FBI opened a criminal investigation of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt after her killing and listed four “potential violations of federal law,” including felony rioting and civil disorder.

The records also contain multiple reports of two subjects being shot, including the fatal shooting of Babbitt, during the January 6 Capitol protests.

The records were produced in a FOIA lawsuit against the Justice Department and FBI for records related to the death of Ashli Babbitt (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:21-cv-02462)).

These records may also be responsive to a recent FOIA suit for the family for FBI files and potentially related to the $30 million wrongful death lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch on behalf of the Babbitt family.

The unarmed Babbitt was shot and killed as she climbed into a broken interior window in the United States Capitol. The identity of the shooter was kept secret by Congress, the Justice Department, and DC police for eight months until former U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went public to try to defend his killing of Babbitt.

The newly obtained records include a January 14, 2021, Electronic Communication indicating that eight days after Babbitt’s death, under “Case ID#: 176-SD-3367083 (U) Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt,” a posthumous investigation was initiated from San Diego, California:


Captioned investigation is being initiated based on photographic and video evidence that Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt unlawfully entered the United States Capitol Building, a Restricted Building, on 6 January 2021, in violation of federal laws to include violations of 18 U.S.C. Section 1752 and 40 U.S.C. Section 5104.

CDC [Chief Division Counsel] Approval

Field Office CDC has reviewed and concurred with the opening of this investigation. The investigation will be reviewed by the CDC at least semi-annually.

Summary of Predication:


Babbitt was fatally shot by police as she attempted to leap through the broken window of a door inside the Capitol….

           Potential Violations of Federal Law:

Potential violations of federal criminal statutes include:

• Title 18 U.S.C 231 Civil Disorder

• Title 18 U.S.C 1752(a) Unlawful Entry – Restricted Building or


• Title 18 U.S.C 2101 – Riots

• Title 40 U.S.C 5104 – Injuries to property

(U) It is therefore requested that a [redacted] case be opened and assigned to Special Agent [Redacted]

A January 7, 2021, Electronic Communication regarding Babbitt following her shooting death the previous day reports that during the protests two “subjects” were shot at the Capitol that day:

Multiple officers were injured during the incident and two subjects were shot, with one fatal injury…. Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, a San Diego resident, was present in D.C. on January 6, 2021, and entered the United States Capitol building where she was fatally shot. Babbitt was an Air Force veteran.

An FBI Interview Report Form FD-302 dated April 23, 2021, indicates FBI agents interviewed a witness by telephone on April 15 who provided background information on Babbitt:

In 2008, Babbitt transitioned to the Air Force Reserve at Sheppard Air Force Base but continued to serve on active duty orders. In 2009, [Redacted] and Babbitt [redacted] where Babbitt continued to serve out the remainder of her career in either the Reserves of Air National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base. At one point Babbitt transitioned Military Occupational Specialties to serve as a mechanic, but ultimately returned to Security Forces. According to [Redacted] Babbitt was excellent at her job and [redacted].

Babbitt deployed several times throughout her service. In 2005, Babbitt deployed to Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan. In 2006, Babbitt was deployed to Camp Bucca in southern Iraq which served as a Theater Internment facility. In approximately 2012-2014, Babbitt deployed to the United Arab Emirates. Babbit did not suffer any physical or mental injuries stemming from her deployments and [redacted]. While stationed in Alaska, Babbitt did suffer from a torn meniscus [a common knee injury] which had occurred while she was previously stationed in Texas. While deployed to Camp Bucca, Babbitt did fly to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait [redacted].

[Redacted] characterized Babbitt as very outgoing, opinionated, loud, very intelligent, loyal, sweet, very loving and caring. At times, Babbitt was not a fan of her chain of command and made her views known. Babbitt was a leader rather than a follower and liked being her own boss. Consequently, she was happy running her pool company in California. Babbitt loved her family and loved her country.


[Redacted] judged that she likely did not know the risk of passing through the window. Babbitt would never “go after someone physically” according to [redacted].

[Redacted] was not aware of Babbitt’s political views as she was not political [redacted]. [Redacted] did know that Babbitt had voted for President Obama. [Redacted] did not know if Babbitt belonged to any political groups or organizations. [Redacted] was frustrated by media portrayals of Babbitt as being associated with white nationalists, which was not accurate.

A January 19, 2021, entry into the file indicates that two people were shot at the Capitol on January 6: “Multiple officers were injured during the incident and two subjects were shot, with one fatal injury.”

A separate record dated January 19 indicates that “information from a public tip” was submitted to the FBI related to Babbitt that was submitted through the fbi.gov/uscapitol online portal. The description of the information submitted is redacted.

A January 20 record regarding a “public tip” is titled “Upload of Digital Media Report,” however, the substance of the report is redacted.

report dated January 21 indicates a tip had been submitted to the FBI’s web portal, but the information is redacted.

A January 29 FBI witness interview summary indicates that on January 23, 2021, two FBI agents interviewed an acquaintance of Babbitt, however, the substance of what the witness said is entirely redacted.

An Electronic Communication dated January 29 indicates that FBI agents from the San Diego office interviewed another acquaintance of Babbitt on January 18, but the substance of what that person said is also entirely redacted.

“It is beyond belief that the Biden FBI gave Ashli Babbitt’s killer a free pass while engaging in a malicious months-long ‘criminal’ investigation of Babbitt herself,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch is extensively investigating the events of January 6.

Judicial Watch recently was pleading in court for the denial of the U.S. Government’s request to transfer the Ashli Babbitt wrongful death lawsuit from California to Washington, DC. Among other legal points, Judicial Watch argues it would prejudice the case and be unjust for Ashli’s family if it were transferred to the hostile forum of District of Columbia.

In January 2024, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of Aaron Babbitt and the Ashli Babbitt Estate against the U.S. Department of Justice for all FBI files on Ashli Babbitt.

In October 2023, Judicial Watch received the court-ordered declaration of James W. Joyce, senior counsel in the Office of the General Counsel for the Capitol Police, in which he describes emails among senior officials of the United States Capitol Police in January 2021 that show warnings of possible January 6 protests that could lead to serious disruptions at the U.S. Capitol.

In September 2023, Judicial Watch received records from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, a component of the Department of Justice, in a FOIA lawsuit that detailed the extensive apparatus the Biden Justice Department set up to investigate and prosecute January 6 protestors.

previous review of records from that lawsuit highlighted the prosecution declination memorandum documenting the decision not to prosecute U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd for the shooting death of Babbitt.

In January 2023, documents from the Department of the Air Force, Joint Base Andrews, MD, showed U.S. Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd was housed at taxpayer expense at Joint Base Andrews after he shot and killed U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

In November 2021, Judicial Watch released multiple audiovisual and photo records from the DC Metropolitan Police Department about the shooting death of Babbitt on January 6, 2021, in the U.S. Capitol Building. The records included a cell phone video of the shooting and an audio of a brief police interview of the shooter, Byrd.

In October 2021, United States Park Police records related to the January 6, 2021, demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol showed that on the day before the January 6 rally featuring President Trump, U.S. Park Police expected a “large portion” of the attendees to march to the U.S. Capitol and that the FBI was monitoring the January 6 demonstrations, including travel to the events by “subjects of interest.”

Author: Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach. Visit Judicial Watch at https://www.judicialwatch.org/


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