United States Representative Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) is a sterling example of the degradation of an Ivy League education.
Following a lengthy riff about the horrors of the January 6 “insurrection” during which he described his Republican colleagues as fascists, Jones, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard School of Law, unloaded a whopper.
“How many more people needed to die to reach your definition of an insurrection?” Jones yelled across the room at Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) during a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Wednesday. “On January 6, at the direction of Donald Trump, a violent mob stormed the Capitol. In the process, 138 Capitol and D.C. police officers were injured. A Capitol police officer was bludgeoned to death.”
Jones, of course, was referring to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
On January 8, 2021, the New York Times reported that Sicknick had been killed during the protest by Trump supporters using a fire extinguisher. For weeks, that false account, attributed to two anonymous law enforcement officials, persisted in the news media, prompting public outcry. Sicknick’s remains laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda; the country’s top political leaders, including Joe and Jill Biden, paid their respects before a hero’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
After the theatrical optics served their purpose—to blame Trump supporters for murdering a cop on January 6—the Times retracted the story. In April 2021, the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office released an autopsy report concluding Sicknick died of natural causes, specifically a stroke.
By bringing up Sicknick’s death, Jones sparked a heated debate between Republicans and Democrats. “Are we talking about Sicknick or are we talking about someone else?” Bishop asked Jones, who refused to correct his statement, downplaying it as a “minute point in the midst of the gravity of what happened on January 6.” Jones again claimed “multiple police officers” died that day.
Amid pushback from House Republicans to correct the official record, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) berated the other side for refusing to concede that Sicknick died as a result of the protest. “You bring shame on this body,” Dean said. “He engaged on our behalf the insurrectionists. The conversation you all engaged in is so shameful, I hope the Sicknick family isn’t watching this.”
Unfortunately, Sicknick’s loved ones also continue to peddle the myth that he was killed in the line of duty. Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s former girlfriend—she admitted that the couple had “taken a break” from their relationship six months before the Capitol protest—is a chief promoter of the falsehood. A regular feature at January 6 select committee performances, Garza often slams Donald Trump and his supporters in cable news interviews, inveighing against any Republican who won’t mimic the fabricated storyline.
Garza holds Trump responsible for Sicknick’s untimely death at age 40. “I want to say Trump is disgusting,” Garza said in a recent MSNBC interview in response to Trump’s call to Micki Babbitt, mother of Ashli Babbitt. Micki Babbitt’s pain, Garza claimed, “is as significant as mine” while insisting the officer who killed her had no choice—a subtle reminder undoubtedly lost on willfully ignorant MSNBC viewers that the only person shot that afternoon was Babbitt and it happened at the hands of a federal police officer.
“Justice for me will not be clear and, you know, a day where I can celebrate until he’s in prison, as well as all of his cohorts who helped January 6th unravel that day,” Garza said.
The lie about Sicknick’s death pervades the government’s criminal investigation into the events of January 6. Attorney General Merrick Garland to this day claims that five police officers died following their response to the Capitol protest; Democrats and the media attribute four alleged suicides of law enforcement officers, including a few that occurred months later, to their bogus death count.
Prosecutors routinely cite that figure in court filings. Shortly after accusing Tim Hale-Cusanelli of lying on the stand during his May 2022 trial, assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Fifield wrote in Hale’s sentencing recommendation last week that “the attack on the United States Capitol cost half a dozen police officers their lives.” (Fifield did not respond to an email seeking clarification for her claim.)
And according to FBI whistleblower Steve Friend, a supervisor at the Jacksonville FBI field office demanded to know what Friend thought of Capitol protesters who “killed police officers” on January 6. When Friend replied that no officers were killed that day, assistant Special Agent in Charge Coult Markovsky told Friend he was a “bad teammate.”
Of course, the biggest purveyor of disinformation related to Brian Sicknick is Joe Biden. Since spring 2021, even after the release of Sicknick’s autopsy, Biden has lied about both Sicknick and the officers who reportedly committed suicide. He repeatedly insists Trump supporters broke into the Capitol to “kill a police officer.”
In a typically weird and dishonest comparison. Biden reverses the situation for American audiences during his speeches, asking “how would you feel if you saw crowds storm and break down the doors of the British Parliament, kill five cops, injure 145—or the German Bundestag or the Italian Parliament? Well, that’s what the rest of the world saw.”
No, it isn’t what the world saw. Biden, Garland, congressional Democrats like Mondaire Jones, and large swaths of the media regurgitate these falsehoods without consequence. Not only do the accusations denigrate the tragic, early death of a man who, by all accounts, seemed like a decent and patriotic citizen, they fuel a false narrative intended to stoke outrage in an already deeply divided country. And it helps to justify an abusive, vengeful prosecution against hundreds of Trump supporters.
As I ask over and over, if January 6 was so awful, why do they keep lying about it?