Family of Capitol officer who died after riot ask for meetings with every GOP senator to urge commission

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The mother and partner of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the riot by supporters of Donald Trump, have asked for meetings with every GOP senator to urge them to vote for the proposed commission to investigate the events of 6 January.

Senate Republicans are expected to block the proposal when a vote is held on Thursday. DC’s chief medical examiner ruled last month that Officer Sicknick’s death on 7 January was caused by natural causes after he suffered two strokes.

“Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day,” the officer’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, 74, said in a statement sent to Politico.

“I suggest that all Congressmen and Senators who are against this Bill visit my son’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery and, while there, think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be there for them going forward.”

“Putting politics aside, wouldn’t they want to know the truth of what happened on January 6? If not, they do not deserve to have the jobs they were elected to do,” she added.

“My son has been gone for over four months and I want answers, that’s all,” Ms Sicknick told The Washington Post.

The paper reported that Ms Sicknick and Sandra Garza, who was officer Sicknick’s partner for 11 years, will be on Capitol Hill on Thursday, hoping to meet with GOP senators “to discuss the importance of establishing the bipartisan January 6th Commission on which the Senate will be voting this week,” according to a statement.

Ms Sicknick said her son and other officers “fought for hours and hours against those animals who were trying to take over the Capitol Building and our Democracy, as we know it”.

“Because of what they did, the people in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families. Brian and many other officers ended up in the hospital,” she added.

Several Republican lawmakers have tried to downplay the attack, in one case suggesting some of those who entered the building were little different to tourists.

Ms Sicknick said her son “died because of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6”.

She said that while her son and other officers “were fighting, congressmen and senators were locking themselves inside their offices”.

“According to some who were barricaded in their offices said it looked like tourists walking through the Capitol. Really?”

An anonymous letter using the letterhead of Capitol police, and said to be authored by multiple officers on the force, was released last week, blasting Republicans for their opposition to the bill to create the commission.

When the bill passed the House, all Democrats voted for it along with 35 Republicans; 175 members of the GOP voted against the bill.

The letter from Capitol officers, which was not formally released by the department, said: “On Jan 6th, where some officers served their last day in US Capitol Police uniform, and not by choice, we would hope that Members whom we took an oath to protect, would at the very minimum support an investigation to get to the bottom of EVERYONE responsible and hold them 100 per cent accountable no matter the title or position they hold or held."

In order for the bill to make it to the desk of President Biden, 10 Republican senators would have to get on board, something that currently looks unlikely to happen.

A few GOP Senators, such as Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have indicated that they may support the proposal, but they want changes to be made.

Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has come out against the bill, arguing to GOP colleagues behind closed doors that the release of the commission’s report could be a problem for the Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections.

Former President Donald Trump slammed the House Republicans who voted for the commission in a statement on 20 May.

“See, 35 wayward Republicans — they just can’t help themselves,” he said. "We have much better policy and are much better for the Country, but the Democrats stick together, the Republicans don’t. They don’t have the Romneys, Little Ben Sasses, and Cheneys of the world. Unfortunately, we do. Sometimes there are consequences to being ineffective and weak. The voters understand!”

But Republicans are also coming under mounting pressure, in part from some law enforcement officials, to support the commission.

DC police officer Michael Fanone was gravely injured in the Capitol attack. He has been trying to get a meeting with House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“I want people to understand the significance of 6 January,” Mr Fanone told CNN last month. “I want people to understand that thousands of rioters came to the Capitol hell-bent on violence and destruction and murder.”

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