Half-hour Capitol meeting was positive: ‘He was a gracious host,’ Micki Witthoeft said

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Ashli Babbitt’s mother that he has yet to watch video of the Jan. 6 shooting that led to Babbitt’s death at age 35.

During a 30-minute Capitol Hill meeting, McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised to watch the videos Micki Witthoeft left with him, she said.

“I said, ‘Well, I want to talk about what you said about Michael Byrd doing his job when he murdered my daughter,’” Witthoeft told The Epoch Times on March 23.

“I want to look you in the eye and ask you if you’ve ever watched it. He did look me in the eye and said, ‘No, I haven’t.’

“And then he said that he would. I said, ‘Good, because then the next time you talk about it, you’ll have a more informed opinion.”

McCarthy sparked outrage from Babbitt’s family on Feb. 2 when he told Capitol reporters that Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd “did his job” when he fired on the unarmed Babbitt at the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby on Jan. 6. She was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.

McCarthy’s chief of staff approached Witthoeft outside of a House hearing on Feb. 28 and asked if she would like to have a face-to-face meeting with the Speaker.

Witthoeft said she felt very good after the meeting.

“I was expecting some positive interaction because otherwise, I don’t think he would have agreed to meet me,” she said. “I didn’t want it to be adversarial. And I thought that we should both come at it with an open mind.”

Witthoeft said McCarthy was very attentive and let her talk for 30 minutes about her daughter’s killing and other Jan. 6 topics.

“He let me talk for half an hour and didn’t interrupt me, didn’t interject,” Witthoeft said. “I really felt like he was a gracious host.”

Witthoeft said she brought up conditions at the D.C. jail, what she sees as over-charging of Jan. 6 defendants by the U.S. Justice Department, and the difficulty many defense teams have getting exculpatory evidence accepted at trial, among other issues.

“I feel like he was present in the moment,” Witthoeft said. “I feel like he listened to me.”


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