WASHINGTON ― Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is already using her new perch on the House Oversight Committee to host a pity party for the mob rioters who ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
During a committee meeting on Tuesday, Greene compared the police killing of Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, to the police shooting of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt as she tried to break into an inner room of the Capitol.
Rep. Jasmine Crocket (D-Texas) had spoken out against Republicans’ decision to disband an oversight subcommittee focused on civil rights, mentioning Nichols’ death as something the subcommittee might have investigated.
“Miss Crockett, I do agree with you about Tyree Nichols’ death,” Greene said. “I watched the video, and it was tragic and extremely difficult to watch.”
But Memphis is a city controlled by Democrats, Greene said, and the officers who beat Nichols were Black, so it “isn’t an issue of racism or anything like that,” she said.
“But I’d like to also point something that I’d hope you share with me: There’s a woman in this room whose daughter was murdered on Jan. 6, Ashli Babbitt,” Greene continued, having apparently invited Babbitt’s mother to attend the hearing.
“As a matter of fact, no one has cared about the person that shot and killed her. And no one in this Congress has really addressed that issue,” Greene said. “And I believe that there are many people that came into the Capitol on Jan. 6, whose civil rights and liberties are being violated heavily.”
The Capitol Police and the Justice Department both cleared the officer who shot Babbitt. She had been trying to climb through the smashed window of a doorway to the Speaker’s Lobby just outside the House chamber. Police had barricaded the door to keep the rioters out.
“The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away,” the Capitol Police said after completing a review in August 2021.
The Justice Department said in April 2021 its investigation “revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.”
Five Memphis police officers were charged with murder for beating Nichols for several minutes after a traffic stop earlier this month, a situation not remotely similar to the mob siege of the Capitol.
Greene is a conspiracy theorist whom Democrats blocked from serving on committees in the previous Congress because of her past threatening commentary about her fellow lawmakers. She and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) have claimed the Donald Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol had been manipulated by secret FBI agents rather than incited to violence by Trump’s election lies.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said last year Greene could serve on committees if Republicans won the House, and Greene pushed for a seat on the oversight committee so that she could highlight the supposed mistreatment of rioters like Babbitt.
Greene told HuffPost last year that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the second-ranking Republican in the House, told her he would support an oversight committee investigation of “political prisoners” held at D.C. jail.
House Oversight chair James Comer (R-Ky.) was noncommittal about investigating the plight of Capitol rioters.
“We look into a lot of things that sometimes they may get to the next level of an investigation, and sometimes we just feel we don’t feel like we’ve got enough to go to an investigation,” Comer told HuffPost in November. “So if that’s important to her, then that’s something that I’m sure that we’ll look at.”