The mother of Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died after being attacked during the Capitol insurrection, personally met with Republican lawmakers on Thursday to plead for their support to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot.
“You know, usually I’m staying in the background, and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t stay quiet anymore,” Gladys Sicknick told reporters after a meeting with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), 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. Sicknick later told reporters that senators are “supposed to uphold the Constitution, and right now I don’t think they’re doing it.”
Sicknick was joined in the meetings by Sandra Garza, the fallen officer’s longtime partner, and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who were also attacked during the siege that day.
A source told CNN that 13 GOP senators flat-out refused to meet with Sicknick and that all the meetings she did have were very difficult for her.
In a statement Wednesday, Sicknick said her son “died because of the insurrectionists who stormed” the Capitol. “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. According to some who were barricaded in their offices, 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.”
Not investigating what happened is a “slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day,” said Sicknick. “Because of what they did, the people in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families.”
She suggested those opposed to the commission visit her son’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who met with Sicknick, said she would support a commission. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) would vote for a procedural motion to begin debate on the legislation to be able to offer an amendment to the bill, her spokesperson told CNN.
But support from at least seven other GOP senators is needed to create the commission.
Brian Sicknick, 42, suffered two strokes a day after he was viciously assaulted by rioters and sprayed in the face with bear mace at the Capitol. Washington D.C.’s chief medical examiner determined last month that Sicknick died of natural causes. Some 140 officers were assaulted during what Clyde described as a typical tourist visit.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is opposed to the commission because he insists it would be “partisan,” even though he angrily blasted Trump after the siege for his role in “provoking” it by feeding the public “lies.” McConnell offered to have a staff member meet with the fallen officer’s mom.
On Thursday McConnell told wavering senators to block the commission as a “personal favor” to him, CNN reported.
The anti-Trump Republican Lincoln Project later slammed McConnell’s appeal to try to bury the “homegrown terrorist attack.”
“McConnell is desperate to help Trump cover up the Jan. 6 attacks, to protect seditionist members of the Senate and House from investigation, and to push the violent attack on our government into the memory hole,” the organization said in a statement.
“A January 6 commission should be a priority for every member of Congress,” the statement added. “The American people deserve to know why Leader McConnell would consider this request a personal favor. Who exactly is he trying to protect?”