The police officer who shot dead Trump-rioter Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot on January 6 will finally reveal his identity on Thursday during a television interview.
However, the unnamed cop has decided to do so on his own terms and not on the orders of the FBI or the Department of Justice (DOJ). The FBI never gave away the name of the officer but cleared him of all charges related to Babbitt's death earlier this week.
The officer will speak with NBC News journalist Lester Holt to give his side of the story, according to a press release. Babbitt, 35, was the only person killed during the insurrection when the officer opened fire as a MAGA mob stormed through the Rotunda.
Coming Out in the Open
Earlier this week, the DOJ cleared the capitol cop who shot Babbitt on the fateful night of January 6. However, they didn't reveal the identity of the officer. But that won't be a secret anymore, with the officer having decided to reveal his identity on the NBC show on Thursday.
The NBC release stated that the interview is currently set to air at 6:30 pm ET Thursday on NBC Nightly News. "Speaking out and revealing his identity publicly for the first time, the officer will share his perspective on the events of that day, including the aftermath of the deadly insurrection and the threats he has received," the NBC press release read.
It is not known why the police officer decided to reveal his identity. This week he was exonerated by an internal Capitol Police investigation after the DOJ said in April that it would not file any charges against the officer.
That at the same time puts to rest a number of questions. For months, Trump and his other leading MAGA figures have called for the outing of the police office but even his name wasn't revealed on security grounds.
Who is the Cop?
Since Babbitt's death, Trump and his supporters have been claiming that the officer's identity is being hidden as part of a cover-up. Terrell N. Roberts III, an attorney for Babbitt's family, said the decision to go public was "quite a turn-around, given the months of constantly saying that to identify him would expose him to danger. Where did that one go?"
According to the Daily Beast, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told the outlet that the officer is a lieutenant and a 28-year veteran of the department. He reportedly spent the last two decades in his current position, and he was in-charge of the security of the entire House floor on January 6.
Babbitt, a 14-year U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had traveled from California to DC to attend a large pro-Trump demonstration immediately before the riot and was the only person shot on January 6 when she was unarmed.
Video footage of the shooting showed Babbitt at the head of a crowd trying to force their way through a barricaded door leading to an area where members of Congress were being helped to safety.
She was shot at that point. An investigation by the Department of Justice concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officer responsible.