Federal prosecutors today dropped felony assault charges against one of two men accused of attacking Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on January 6, 2021. George Tanios of West Virginia was arrested in March 2021 and charged with numerous felonies including assault on federal officers with a dangerous or deadly weapon and obstruction of an official proceeding.
In an superseding indictment filed Wednesday morning by the office of Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia handling all January 6 prosecutions, Tanios now faces two misdemeanor counts: entering or remaining on restricted grounds and disorderly conduct.
Tanios and Julian Khater, his co-defendant in the alleged attack, have been portrayed by Joe Biden’s Justice Department and the national news media as the Trump supporters responsible for the death of Sicknick on January 7, 2021. After the New York Times in February 2021 retracted its initial account of what happened to Sicknick—that he was bludgeoned to death by Trump “loyalists” using a fire extinguisher—the media then suggested Sicknick died after suffering an allergic reaction to chemical spray. (Khater remains accused of using pepper spray against a line of officers, including Sicknick, outside that afternoon.)
In April 2021, the D.C. Medical Examiner ruled Sicknick died of natural causes and suffered no internal or external injuries during the Capitol protest.
After prosecutors sought pretrial detention for Tanios and Khater, D.C. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan, 83, denied their release. Both men were sent to the D.C. gulag set aside for January 6 defendants; in August 2021, the D.C. Circuit Court overturned Hogan’s order to keep Tanios behind bars and he was released on strict home detention orders. Khater remains incarcerated awaiting an October 5 trial.
In an interview with American Greatness last October, Tanios, father of three young children, explained how the false charges destroyed his life, including the loss of his sandwich restaurant. “In the court of public opinion, we’ve all been destroyed,” Tanios told me during a phone interview. “The truth is going to come out, though, it has to.”
Tanios is expected to plead guilty today to both misdemeanor counts in Judge Hogan’s courtroom.