Shortly after closing arguments were delivered in former President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial on Friday, The New York Times issued the following “update” to an article originally published on Jan. 8.
UPDATE: New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.
According to American Greatness’ Julie Kelly, The Times’ claimed in their original article that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick had died from injuries sustained when a pro-Trump rioter “struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher.” This story served to set the left’s narrative that Trump’s Jan. 6 speech, in which he complained about the alleged fraud that had cost him the election, incited an insurrection during which Sicknick had been “murdered.”
The Jan. 8 article read:
[P]ro-Trump rioters attacked that citadel of democracy, overpowered Mr. Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. He died on Thursday evening.
This story accomplished its intended purpose. It was immediately picked up by the rest of the media and blame for the “insurrection” was laid at the feet of our reckless 45th president.
Many Republicans piled on. On Trump’s last full day in office, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech on the Senate floor and told colleagues: “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
The National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, not generally known for hyperbole, wrote a piece entitled “The Trump Impeachment Is Deeply Flawed, but He Deserves Conviction.”
Indeed, I have written a book about impeachment, Faithless Execution, in which I argued that several actions taken by President Obama were impeachable. None of them was as egregious as what President Trump did — and, especially, what he omitted to do — nine days ago.
He also described a course of action in which House impeachment managers could make Sicknick, “who was murdered, the face of impeachment.” McCarthy explained:
An impeachment manager opening the presentation to the Senate could have declared without hesitation: ‘When Officer Sicknick needed a president, Donald Trump was missing in action. When America needed a commander-in-chief to protect the seat of its democracy, Donald Trump wouldn’t be disturbed—he was busy watching television.
The narrative was set, based on a lie invented and propagated by The New York Times.
Four days ago, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough continued to spread the lie. Speaking to a colleague, he said:
You don’t get a mulligan when you kill a cop, Mike. When you abuse police officers, jam police officers’ heads inside a door, and bash police officers’ brains with fire extinguishers, you don’t get a mulligan. Especially if you’re the one responsible for bringing those cop killers up to Capitol Hill.
It’s unbelievable. Not only cop killers, but these people are traitors to the United States of America. They are traitors.
The Times cited “anonymous sources” in their original story. They had no actual evidence to support their shocking claims.
Ken Sicknick, the officer’s brother, told ProPublica, “He texted me last night [Jan. 6] and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape. Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.”
Sicknick passed away the following night at 9:30.
In fact, Sicknick’s cause of death is still unknown. Autopsy results have not been made public.
But thanks to that solid reporting by the paper of record, many Americans believe he died of wounds sustained when a pro-Trump insurrectionist bludgeoned him in the head with a fire extinguisher.
I view that as a crime.