In an appearance on CNN this week, D.C. police officer Michael Fanone — who participated in the defense of the Capitol against rioting Trump supporters on January 6 — starkly criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the top Republican’s opposition to the formation of an independent commission to investigate the January riot at the Capitol. A bill to create such a commission recently came up for a vote in the Senate, and Republicans — with the support of McConnell — launched a successful filibuster against it, blocking the proposal. Fanone said he was “sickened” by McConnell’s behavior.
Ahead of the vote on the bill to create the proposed commission, reporting emerged revealing that McConnell had asked Republican Senators to vote against creating the panel as a personal favor to him. McConnell has been reported to have been concerned about the potentially damaging impacts on the public image of the Republican Party stemming from an investigation of the Trump-inspired riot. Fanone went with Gladys Sicknick, the mother of late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, to personally meet with GOP Senators and push for the independent commission ahead of the vote on that bill, but the GOP (mostly) kept up their opposition.
Discussing McConnell’s reported request for no votes on the commission as a personal favor for the GOP leader, Fanone told CNN host Don Lemon as follows:
‘I was absolutely sickened. Here I am, escorting the mother of a dead policeman while she and myself advocate for the formation of a commission to investigate the circumstances which resulted in her son’s death. And you have a leader on Capitol Hill who’s making phone calls asking for personal favors and doling out political capital to push for a no vote on that commission. It was absolutely disgraceful.’
Check out Fanone’s comments below:
Fanone was one of scores of officers who were violently assaulted by Trump supporters who rioted at the Capitol on that fateful January day. Although Brian Sicknick died soon after his participation in the defense of the Capitol, the D.C. medical examiner has ruled that his death was due to natural causes (involving strokes, to be specific) — although the Capitol Police said that the conclusion “does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.” In refusing to support the creation of an independent commission, (most) Senate Republicans disgracefully ignored the stark realities of that day and its aftermath.