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Officer who shot, killed Ashli Babbitt won’t face charges

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) will not pursue charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, officials announced Wednesday.

Officials said that federal prosecutors reviewed video footage, interviewed the officer and other witnesses, assembled evidence, and examined autopsy results, officials said of the investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

“Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“The 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 members of Congress,” the statement also read. The DOJ’s decision officially concludes the investigation.

Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force and Air National Guard veteran, was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer while she and a mob were standing in the doorway leading to the House Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol. The officer shot her as rioters attempted to smash through the door, and the chaotic moment was captured on video and quickly spread throughout social media shortly thereafter.

RELATED: Video: Last known livestream of woman fatally shot at Capitol riot

She had entered the Capitol Building with other rioters on January 6 to prevent the certification of the 2020 Electoral College victory of President Joe Biden.

Babbitt is one of five people who died in or outside the Capitol that day, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Three other people died of medical emergencies.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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