Sandra Garza, the partner of deceased Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, talked to CNN on Tuesday about her grief and her fury over the attack on the United States Capitol that resulted in his death.
She and Sicknick were both staunch Trump fans before the incident, but things have changed since then.
“I know you are a supporter because you believed in ‘blue lives matter’ and you believed in the former president’s defense in law enforcement,” said CNN’s Erin Burnett. “Why do you think this report does not look at Trump’s role in what happened that day?”
“That bothers me immensely,” said Garza. “And, I think it goes back to why Gladys [Sicknick’s mother] and I were up on Capitol Hill and we were meeting with the Republican senators to have them do this full 9/11-style commission. This report is important, we can get a lot of good information from it. We need to go deeper than that. I know Gladys feels it deeper than I do.”
“To hear Mitch McConnell asking us — do us a favor and vote no on this. That’s atrocious. That’s appalling. That’s reprehensible. Why does he not say that to Officer Jeffery Smith’s family? Or the numerous officers who were injured that day.”
“One officer lost an eye and Officer Hodges almost lost his life that day, almost crushed to death. Or even myself, I was not working for two months because I was so devastated and broken up over Brian’s death.”
She admitted that she felt guilty over their breakup, and that Republicans “are doing this to protect Donald Trump” makes her “even angry.”
“For Trump to say and I watched his speech in North Carolina, for him to say that he loves America and he’s a patriot is disgusting. The patriots are people like Liz Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinzinger and all of the Senators who voted yes. Those are the true patriots and those are the people that love America, and by the way, I said in that interview with CBS, I had said that I would be willing to meet with Trump, not because I want to sit down and have tea and cookies with them.”
“No, because I want answers. We and the rest of the families deserve answers. I am going to slam him with hard questions. I am not intimidated by Donald Trump like some of the people on Capitol Hill. I have no respect for these people. They are selling their souls for power, for reelection and as Gladys had said in an earlier interview, it lines their pockets. It is disgusting.”
The mother of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick had requested talks with Republican senators in order to try and persuade them to support a proposed bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
According to a copy of one of the scheduling request emails obtained by POLITICO, Gladys Sicknick had requested meetings with every single Senate GOP office to underscore “the significance” of forming an impartial committee to examine the deadly insurgency. Brian Sicknick died a day after responding to the attack on Jan. 6 after suffering a stroke.
“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,” Gladys Sicknick said in a statement. “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.
A measure was set up the commission passed the House last week with the support of every single Democrat and 35 Republicans. But that legislation was on shaky ground in the Senate, where 10 Republicans would need to get on board in order to circumvent a filibuster. The Senate eventually declined to support.
Collins, Romney, and Texas Senator John Cornyn, as well as South Carolina Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, expressed interest in meeting with Sicknick’s mother.
Others, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, deferred comments to their offices or stated that they had not yet received the meeting request.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, had cautioned his colleagues behind closed doors that the release of the commission’s conclusions might have push the election cycle into 2022 when both the Senate and House majorities are up for grabs. Former President Donald Trump has also spoken out against the commission, criticizing House Republicans who voted in favor of it.
However, Republicans were under increasing political pressure, especially from some law enforcement officials, to support the planned committee. Michael Fanone, a D.C. police officer who was seriously injured on the job while reacting to the attack on Jan. 6, has been requesting a meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
A rare and blistering public reprimand of prominent Republicans for opposing the commission bill was delivered in an anonymous and unsigned statement on Capitol Police letterhead, purported to be authored by many officers on the force.
“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 percent accountable no matter the title or the position they hold or held,” the letter read.