On Thursday, the mother of Brian Sicknick
, the police officer who died after being attacked during the Capitol insurgency, met with Republican
lawmakers to ask for their support in forming a commission
to investigate the Jan. 6 riot.
“You know, I usually stay in the background, and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t stay quiet any longer,” Gladys Sicknick
told reporters after meeting with Sen. Mitt Romney
(R-UT), who has said he will vote for a commission.
“Brian had a work
ethic second to none. He was... there for our country,” she said, later adding that senators are “supposed to uphold the Constitution, and right now I don’t think they are.”
Sandra Garza, the fallen officer's longtime partner, as well as Capitol Police
Officer Harry Dunn
and Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone
, who were both attacked during the siege that day, joined Sicknick in the meetings.
According to a source, 13 Republican senators flatly refused to meet with Sicknick, and the meetings she did have were extremely difficult for her.
Sicknick said in a statement Wednesday that her son "died as a result of the insurrectionists who stormed" the Capitol, adding that "he and his fellow officers fought for hours and hours against those animals
who were trying to take over the Capitol building and our democracy
“While they were fighting, congressmen and senators were locking themselves inside their offices, and it looked like tourists walking through the Capitol,” she added, referring to Georgia
Rep. Andrew Clyde
’s comment that the riot appeared to be a “normal tourist visit.”
Former President Donald Trump
has insisted that rioters were "hugging and kissing" police, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The failure to investigate what happened is a “slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs
that day,” according to Sicknick, because “the people
in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families because of what they did.”
Those opposed to the commission should pay a visit to her son's grave at Arlington National Cemetery, she suggested.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who met with Sicknick, said she would support a commission, and Sen. Susan Collins
(R-Maine) said she would vote for a procedural motion to start debate on the legislation so she could offer an amendment, according to her spokesperson.
The commission, however, requires the support of at least seven other Republican senators.
Brian Sicknick, 42, died of natural causes after being viciously assaulted by rioters and sprayed in the face with bear
mace at the Capitol. The chief medical examiner in Washington D.C. determined last month that Sicknick died of natural causes. Some 140 officers were assaulted during what Clyde described as a typical tourist visit.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.) is opposed to the commission because he believes it will be "partisan," despite the fact that he angrily chastised Trump after the siege for "provoking" it by feeding the public "lies." McConnell has offered to have a staff member meet with the fallen officer's mother.
According to CNN
, McConnell told senators who were on the fence about blocking the commission that it was a "personal favor" to him.
The Republican Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump organization, later slammed McConnell's appeal to bury the "homegrown terrorist attack."
“McConnell is desperate to assist Trump in covering up the Jan. 6 attacks, to shield seditionist members of the Senate and House
, and to consign the violent attack on our government to history,” the organization said in a statement.
“A January 6
commission should be a priority for every member of Congress,” the statement continued, adding that “the American people deserve to know why Leader McConnell would consider this request a personal favor. Who exactly is he attempting to protect?”