MIKE B. posted a link to a NEW YORK TIMES story that in the first paragraph reminds me why I cannot stand almost the entirety of the Gray Lady. Here is the first paragraph:
When called upon to believe that Barack Obama was really born in Kenya, millions got in line. When encouraged to believe that the 2012 Sandy Hook murder of twenty children and six adults was a hoax, too many stepped up. When urged to believe that Hillary Clinton was trafficking children in the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor with no basement, they bought it, and one of them showed up in the pizza place with a rifle to protect the kids. The fictions fed the frenzies, and the frenzies shaped the crises of 2020 and 2021. The delusions are legion: Secret Democratic cabals of child abusers, millions of undocumented voters, falsehoods about the Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccine.
So, let’s deal with some of this first paragraph.
This is included in the NYT’s list of right-wing conspiracies.
Which I find odd.
Because the first time this idea was put into the public’s mind was by Barack’s own publisher. Here is an highlighted portion of the above which was on Obama’s publishers brochure in 1991 (to the right), and found elsewhere online till 2007. And the publisher of “Dreams of my Father” So far from it having a “Genesis” in some right wing “conspiracy” — for over a decade it was viewable by Obama and fans of his book.
I say “the first time this idea was put into the public’s mind” because my belief is that he lied to unlock grants, gain access and recognition at Occidental College, his publisher, etc.… similar to Elizabeth Warren. (Or, Carrie Bourassa up in Canada, or Ward Churchill, or the MANY others. There is some gain to claiming “other”.)
At any rate, that was the first the world heard of the “born in Kenya” idea. It was in the public eye from 1991 until April 2007…
Hillary ran for office.
And this story went from public to through the Hillary Clinton “propaganda machine.”
Since this had it’s origins as an idea via Democrats, it would be safe to assume many Democrats believed it.
Seems logical. While it was half [essentially] of Dems, it is still pretty high. I will combine polls from two conspiracies [Birthers and Truthers] to make a point.
Polls from RASMUSSEN(and others compiled at WIKI) that show an amazing thing. What is this “amazing thing,” you rightly ask?
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Not sure? Not sure? To be clear, Democrats by over a majority believed Bush either knew directly or they said they were [basically] “still on the fence.” Here is more:
I’ve been looking for a good analogue to the willingness of Republicans to believe, or say they believe, that Obama was born abroad, and one relevant number is the share of Democrats willing to believe, as they say, that “Bush knew.”
There aren’t a lot of great public numbers on the partisan breakdown of adherents to that conspiracy theory, but the University of Ohio yesterday shared with us the crosstabs of a 2006 poll they did with Scripps Howard that’s useful in that regard.
“How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” the poll asked.
A full 22.6% of Democrats said it was “very likely.” Another 28.2% called it “somewhat likely.”
That is: More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks….
What is the percentage of Republicans that believed (at it’s height of belief) Obama was not born in America?
31% of Republican think/thought that Obama was not born in the states…
How many Democrats?
15% of Democrats believe the same… [as well as 18% of Independents]
However, a third who believe him to be born out of the country approve of him (ABC-NEWS and my RPTpost).
So it is clear the “BIRTHIRISM” is not just a “right-wing” conspiracy.
Various Conspiracies and Ironies
However, I do not believe the New York Times has ever said 9/11 Trutherism is a “left-wing conspiracy.” From the beginning of the next paragraph from the NYT article:
While much has been said about the moral and political stance of people who support right-wing conspiracy theories, their gullibility is itself alarming.
This article is for the gullible, as you will see.
Some of these listed conspiracies in the paragraph quote from the NYT are via Alex Jones…. whom I have an entire section of my main conspiracy-debunking page (some isolated here)… so I do not know who my friend is thinking is a “big conspiracy/gullible” person, as, I refute many conspiracies on my site.
I think my mom is the only person I know who believes almost every conspiracy named. Flat-earth, energy beams from space starting fires, the pizza “trafficking kids” thing, and the like. But she is getting senile.
What is ironic is that Hillary wasn’t trafficking underage kids… they were being trafficked to Bill Clinton (“Slick Willy”).
Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls. (FOX | See also TOWNHALL)
NEW GEORGIA REVELATIONS
What prompted the NYT post was my posting a story about new video compiled by True the Vote after collecting and going over CCTV of the area around drop-boxes in Georgia. The collecting, viewing, and then isolating these many videos was a time consuming project. Here is a snippet from JUST THE NEWS:
….The group informed the secretary its evidence included video footage from surveillance cameras placed by counties outside the drop boxes as well as geolocation data for the cell phones of more than 200 activists seen on the tapes purportedly showing the dates and times of ballot drop-offs, according to documents reviewed by Just the News.
The group also said it interviewed a Georgia man who admitted he was paid thousands of dollars to harvest ballots in the Atlanta metropolitan area during the November election and the lead-up to Jan. 5, 2021 runoff for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats, which were both captured by Democrats and ended GOP control of Congress. The group has yet to identify the cooperating witness to state authorities, referring to him in the complaint simply as John Doe.
Raffensperger confirmed in an interview aired Tuesday on the John Solomon Reports podcast that his office has deemed the allegations credible enough to open an investigation and possibly seek subpoenas from the State Election Board to secure evidence.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Tuesday he initiated a probe into possible illegal ballot harvesting in the 2020 election.
While former President Trump lost the state of Georgia by a 12,000 vote margin, True the Vote submitted a complaint to Raffensperger’s office on November 30 that details digital data of 242 people making visits to drop boxes to dump mail-in-ballots, with about 40 percent of the trips occurring between midnight and 5:00 a.m., Just the News reported.
The True the Vote evidence reportedly includes phone data correlated with video that shows individuals dropping ballots at 5,662 ballot drops during the 2020 pandemic. Breitbart News reported on a True the Vote document in August:
In other words, what the document says is that True The Vote was able to take cell phone ping data on a mass wide scale and piece together that several people—suspected ballot harvesters—were making multiple trips to multiple drop boxes, raising potential legal questions in a number of these states.
We do have some information. And we are going to investigate that. We did deploy drop boxes that were under 24/7 surveillance, and because they were then that really, you know, can indicate who dropped that information off, and we’re really just going through that.
“If people give us, you know, credible allegations, we want to make sure that we do that,” Raffensperger continued. “And we have that right now as an ongoing investigation.” ….
WhenMIKE B. saw a phone screen capture of a Gateway Pundit story on this from their site, he said:
I asked Why – to which he said:
because it is not based on fact.
There is video (in fact MANY hours). And someone who was part of delivering these illegal ballots was being paid?
To which MIKE B. notes:
all bs. Investigated by republican investigators. Look no further then Arizona recount. 6 months of investigation. Nothing found. And by a biased investigator. Time to move on from 2020. Trump lost.
I refuted the Arizona Audit not finding anything a while back, which was part of my next comment:
Arizona? Lol. You need to leave the NYT cocoon. Here are two examples from my post:
Nearly half of the votes flagged as suspicious — 23,344 — fell into a category called “ballots cast from individuals who had moved prior to the election.” They included 15,035 who moved within the county before the registration deadline, 6,591 who moved to another state before the registration deadline and 1,718 who moved to a different county before the registration deadline.
Found 34,448 votes from those who voted more than once in Arizona in the 2020 election. 17,000 votes that NEVER should have been included in the audit!
That is what led him to simply post the URL to the NYT article.
To wit, let’s talk about the NYT a bit.
NEW YORK TIMES Lies About History
One big lie which required the paper supporting the rewriting of history was the 1619 Project. One left leaning professor of history at Northwestern University, Leslie M. Harris, wrote a piece for POLITICO stating essentially after the NYT’s approached her to fact check the article because she is an historian of African American life and slavery, she said she was ignored.
Weeks before, I had received an email from a New York Times research editor. Because I’m an historian of African American life and slavery, in New York, specifically, and the pre-Civil War era more generally, she wanted me to verify some statements for the project. At one point, she sent me this assertion: “One critical reason that the colonists declared their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery in the colonies, which had produced tremendous wealth. At the time there were growing calls to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire, which would have badly damaged the economies of colonies in both North and South.” I vigorously disputed the claim. Although slavery was certainly an issue in the American Revolution, the protection of slavery was not one of the main reasons the 13 Colonies went to war.
The editor followed up with several questions probing the nature of slavery in the Colonial era, such as whether enslaved people were allowed to read, could legally marry, could congregate in groups of more than four, and could own, will or inherit property—the answers to which vary widely depending on the era and the colony. I explained these histories as best I could—with references to specific examples—but never heard back from her about how the information would be used.
Despite my advice, the Times published the incorrect statement about the American Revolution anyway, in Hannah-Jones’ introductory essay. ….
Over time via pressure, the NY Times began correcting the record. NATIONAL REVIEW headlines some major faux pas: Leaving Out Unwelcome Facts about Slavery; Smearing the Revolution; Distorting the Constitution; Misrepresenting the Founding Era; Misrepresenting Lincoln.
April of last year was a big “correcting month” for the NYT, as the NEW YORK POST notes:
April was the month the narratives died.
On April 15, the Biden administration acknowledged there was no evidence that Russia ever offered bounties on American troops in Afghanistan, walking back a report that wounded former President Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Four days later, the Washington, DC, medical examiner revealed that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick had not been murdered by rampaging Trump supporters during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, as reports had claimed, but had died of natural causes.
Both stories were based on anonymous, unidentifiable sources, but had become deeply enmeshed in the public consciousness. Both confirmed the assumptions of the nation’s left-leaning media and academic elite, while damaging their political enemies.
And both were driven by The New York Times, where malicious misreporting has been the practice for a century, argues journalist and media commentator Ashley Rindsberg.
“My research churned up not mere errors or inaccuracies but whole-cloth falsehoods,” Rindsberg writes in “The Gray Lady Winked” (Midnight Oil), out now, which examines how the nation’s premier media outlet manipulates what we think is the news.
The “fabrications and distortions” he found in the Times’ coverage of major stories from Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia to Vietnam and the Iraq War “were never the product of simple error,” Rindsberg contends.
“Rather, they were the byproduct of a particular kind of system, a truth-producing machine” constructed to twist facts into a pattern of the Times’ own choosing, he says.
Rindsberg argues that Times reporters have followed the same playbook since the 1920s.
Star reporters cite fuzzily identified sources and make sweeping assertions to support a narrative aligned with the corporate whims, economic needs and political preferences of the patriarchal Ochs-Sulzberger family, which has helmed the operation since 1896, he writes. The chosen narrative, reinforced from multiple angles, is entrenched through a network of stories over time.
“We toss the term ‘fake news’ around as if it’s something whimsical,” Rindsberg told The Post.
“But creating what I call a false media narrative is really hard,” he said. “It takes coordination, deliberation, and a lot of resources. And there aren’t many news organizations that can do it.”
With close to $2 billion in annual revenue, the Times has the money, prestige, experience and stature to set the narratives that other news outlets almost invariably follow.
“When the Times breaks these stories, it’s wall to wall,” Rindsberg said. “MSNBC, CNN — everywhere you look, you’ll get that story.
“And with the Times, it’s never just one false claim,” he said. “They make a concerted effort over time that they dig into and won’t let go.”
The paper’s coverage of Adolf Hitler’s Germany in the decade before World War II is an early example of its narrative manipulation, Rindsberg writes.
So glowing was its picture of the regime that the Nazis regularly included New York Times reports in their own radio programs.
That’s because the Times bureau chief in Berlin, Guido Enderis, was a Nazi collaborator,” Rindsberg said. ………
I have listened to Dennis Prager for years, and this is only the second time I have heard him this mad:
It should also be noted that without the Press, Stalin and Communism would not have had a pristine veneer. The Pulitzer prize winning New York Times writer, Walter Duranty, is quoted in THE WEEKLY STANDARDas an example:
“There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.” –New York Times, Nov. 15, 1931, page 1
“Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” –New York Times, August 23, 1933
“Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin’s program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding.” –New York Times, December 9, 1932, page 6
“You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” –New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18
“There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.” –New York Times, March 31, 1933, page 13
The New York Times doesn’t change. The paper is atrociously biased today and it was 85 years ago when columnist Walter Duranty proved himself to be a useful idiot for Soviet propaganda. Talking about a famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, he insisted: “There is no actual starvation… There is no famine.”
Another example from This Week in Media Bias History: CNN founder Ted Turner claimed global warming will kill “most of the people” with the survivors resorting to cannibalism.
Below are Rich Noyes’s collected tweets from the 14th week of This Day in Media Bias History. To get the latest daily examples, be sure and follow Noyes on Twitter. To see recaps of the first 13 weeks, go here.)
The blow article is about the real reporter who risked his life to tell the truth. The NYT’s should strip Duranty of the Pulitzer and ask for it to be transferred to Gareth Jones (click pic to enlarge):
So to post a link (URL) to an article that starts off badly and doesn’t touch on the papers conspiracy views of it’s own (another example):
…New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has for years now delved deep into partisan hackery. But now with the election of Donald Trump, he’s plunged headlong into crazy conspiracy theory. It’s amazing to watch.
Forget that Trump incest stuff. This is the real wacky theory, and there’s no chance the New York Times is going to fire him for it, either:
That’s right, he just suggested Donald Trump would intentionally allow a major terrorist attack to kill thousands of Americans, just to raise his approval rating.
This is a tiny step from the old “Bush Knew” 9/11 truther theories out there, and this is from a columnist from a major left-wing newspaper, too. This guy is respected as an expert. Yet he comes up with this stuff. He posts theories like this and nobody pulls him back from the brink…
The medical examiner rejected the idea of bear spray being an issue regarding the death of Brian Sicknick. “D.C. Chief Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz has determined that Brian Sicknick, the United States Capitol Police officer who died following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, died of natural causes” (ABC). The WASHINGTON TIMES also notes that “Prosecutors told a federal judge Tuesday that U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was assaulted with Mace — not the more dangerous bear spray as originally reported — debunking another false narrative that emerged after the officer’s death the day after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.” CNBCalso notes the following:
Police officer Brian Sicknick suffered strokes and died of natural causes a day after he grappled with pro-Trump rioters at the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol, Washington’s chief medical examiner ruled.
…The New York Times reported on Jan. 8 that two unnamed law enforcement officials said Sicknick died after being hit with a fire extinguisher. House Democrats cited the report as part of its case to impeach Trump on charges that he cited an insurrection at the Capitol.
“The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” the Democrats wrote in a memo for the impeachment proceedings.
There has also been speculation that Sicknick died from a reaction to bear spray that was dispensed at the Capitol. Federal prosecutors charged two men last month with hitting Sicknick and several other police officers with the chemical irritant outside the Capitol.
Diaz’s ruling appears to rule out bear spray as a cause of death….
Like so many fake news stories about Donald Trump and his supporters, millions of Americans believe the Sicknick story as truth; even a correction won’t change their minds.
In a quiet but stunning correction, the New York Times backed away from its original report that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by a Trump supporter wielding a fire extinguisher during the January 6 melee at the Capitol building. Shortly after American Greatness published my column Friday that showed how the Times gradually was backpedaling on its January 8 bombshell, the paper posted this caveat:
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.
The paper continued to revise its story within the body of the original January 8 story: “Law enforcement officials initially said Mr. Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher, but weeks later, police sources and investigators were at odds over whether he was hit. Medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma, according to one law enforcement official.”
What’s missing, however, is how the Times first described what happened to Sicknick. “Mr. Sicknick, 42, an officer for the Capitol Police, died on Thursday from brain injuries he sustained after Trump loyalists who overtook the complex struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials.”
The account of Sicknick’s death was reported as fact, not speculation or rumor. Further, it appears that the anonymous sources were not law enforcement officials but people “close” to the police department—which means they could have been anyone from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to inveterate liar U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to the Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser.
Not only was the Times’ untrue story about Sicknick’s death accepted as fact by every news media organization from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post, political pundits on the NeverTrump Right also regurgitated the narrative that Sicknick was “murdered” as did lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
*The Times’ correction might be one reason why Democrats on Saturday reversed their demand to subpoena witnesses. House impeachment managers cited the original January 8 Times’ article as evidence in their impeachment memo: “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”
Any arrangement to compel testimony would have provided Trump’s legal team with an opportunity to expose yet another myth in the Democrats’ “incitement” case against the former president.
Now that the Times has essentially retracted its explosive article, will other news organizations, pundits, and lawmakers follow suit? Unfortunately, like so many media-manufactured stories about Donald Trump and his supporters, millions of Americans already believe the Sicknick story as truth; even a Times’ correction won’t change their minds.
The truth in all matters related to Donald Trump is only of secondary concern, if at all. And once again, reporters who egregiously exploited a man’s untimely death to score political points against a man they revile won’t be held accountable. Another hoax down the memory hole.
I, like other conservative outlets, believed this story. I linked to RIGHT SCOOP regarding the story and agreed (and still do — if the story was true — not just in this situation):
I hope they have on video exactly who hit this brave officer with a fire extinguisher and prosecute them for murder. This cannot go unpunished.
RPT NOTE:As well as the first witness called would have been Nancy Pelosi, who was IN CHARGE of Capitol Hill security… the Buck didn’t stop with her apparently…. the DEMS couldn’t afford the narrative to break!
It is well known that Pelosi, Bowser and Mitch McConnell refused to increase security on January 6th for the US Capitol.
Senator Ted Cruz agreed this morning that the Trump legal team will call in Speaker Pelosi to testify along with Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Following this announcement, the House Impeachment Managers backed off from calling witnesses.
They moved on to closing arguments.
REMEMBER AS WELL
Mark Levin discusses Mark Meadows revelation from February 7th (TRUMP WAR ROOM). I do not listen to Mark all that much, but this is the maddest I have heard him (at the end: 6:03 to 6:15 mark).
…Meadows told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo that even though Trump was vocal about offering Capitol Police and National Guard presence at the Capitol on multiple occasions prior to January 6, his offers were rejected “every time.”
“We also know that in January, but also throughout the summer, that the president was very vocal in making sure that we had plenty of National Guard, plenty of additional support because he supports our rule of law and supports our law enforcement and offered additional help,” Meadows told Bartiromo.
“Even in January, that was a given, as many as 10,000 National Guard troops were told to be on the ready by the Secretary of Defense,” Meadows said. “That was a direct order from President Trump and yet here is what we see … all kinds of blame going around but yet not a whole lot of accountability.”…
What is not known by the typical cable news watcher, probably, is that both the Capital Police and the mayor of D.C. turned down offers to help secure the government areas before and as the mob of crazed Lefties and Righties descended on the Capital:
…Three days before the riot, the Pentagon offered National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. Capitol Police turned them down both times, according to senior defense officials and two people familiar with the matter. Despite plenty of warnings of a possible insurrection and ample resources and time to prepare, police planned only for a free speech demonstration. (WASHINGTON TIMES)
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told federal law enforcement to stand down just one day before a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, smashing windows, entering the chambers, and forcing lawmakers and congressional staff inside into lockdown. “To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway,” Bowser wrote in a letter to acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy. According to Bowser, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department in coordination with the U.S. Park Police, Capitol Police, and Secret Sevice were well-equipped to handle whatever problems could come up during the Trump rallies planned for Wednesday. (THE FEDERALIST)
FIRST POST (2-10-2021)
(RIGHT SCOOP)At the open of his show tonight, Tucker Carlson had a great monologue about the lies Democrats are telling about what happened on January 6th… The monologue runs for just over 12 minutes, but you can keep watching if you want (HERE). The part I wanted to highlight specifically is what Tucker reported about Officer Sicknick’s death. It was reported widely that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher by a rioter and that he later died. But according to Tucker, that’s not what happened:
In this short clip, Tucker reveals that Sicknick’s own brother said that Sicknick texted him the night of the Capitol riot, after it was over, and said that he’d been pepper sprayed twice but was in good shape. His brother then noted that Sicknick collapsed in the Capitol and that he was resuscitated with CPR. The family was told that he was in the hospital on a ventilator after having had a blood clot and a stroke.
Tucker says that there is zero evidence that Sicknick was ever ‘bludgeoned’ with a fire extinguisher despite CNN, MSNBC, and other major media outlets having reported it. And Democrats are still saying it….
This is not the entire article… and I suggest reading the entire thing… however, I wish to post part of it here as i think it important (AMERICAN GREATNESS):
What Happened to Officer Brian Sicknick? No one should discount the idea that Democrats and the news media would intentionally promote a totally fabricated story to destroy Donald Trump and vilify his supporters.
The claim is so pervasive as not to be questioned: Five people died as a result of the January 6 “insurrection” at the Capitol building, killed by blood-thirsty Trump voters at the president’s behest, out for revenge over a stolen election.
Even though only one death—the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by a still-unidentified police officer—is provable by video evidence, the other fatalities nonetheless are accepted as an article of faith to stoke public outrage about what happened that day.
NARRATIVE vs. EVIDENCE
Democrats wasted no time exploiting Sicknick’s untimely death. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) immediately ordered flags flown at half-staff at the Capitol; news and opinion outlets on both the Left and NeverTrump Right blamed the so-called “insurrectionists” for killing Sicknick.
National Reviewclaimed, without evidence, that Sicknick was “murdered.” The president and his allies in the Senate, pundits raged, were accomplices. “When he told followers to ‘STAND UP,’ they listened and murdered a cop while storming the Capitol,” one Washington Examiner writer tweeted about the role of Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). “Make him pay.”
Lawmakers of both parties paid their respects to Sicknick last week during a rare Capitol ceremony; his body lay in honor in the Rotunda on February 3 following a brief memorial service. When Joe Biden and his wife walked away from the display, the president shook his head in grief.
The widely-accepted circumstances surrounding Sicknick’s death are part of the Democrats’ impeachment crusade against Donald Trump. “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” House impeachment managers allege in a memorandum detailing their evidence.
But that inflammatory accusation isn’t backed by an autopsy report or any hard evidence such as a video clip. It isn’t backed by charging documents filed against anyone suspected of killing Sicknick; nearly five weeks later, no one has been accused of murdering the officer even though federal law enforcement officials have arrested more than 200 people tied to their involvement in the January 6 melee.
No, the only proof the House impeachment managers can find is the January 8, New York Times article that relied not on evidence but on background from “two law enforcement officials.”
STRUGGLING TO BUILD A CASE
If Sicknick is the face representing the carnage of January 6, Democrats are at risk of losing their most compelling sympathy storyline just as the impeachment trial gets underway.
“Investigators are struggling to build a federal murder case regarding fallen U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, vexed by a lack of evidence that could prove someone caused his death,” CNN disclosed last week. “Authorities have reviewed video and photographs that show Sicknick engaging with rioters amid the siege but have yet to identify a moment in which he suffered his fatal injuries.”
A medical examiner’s report has not been released and law enforcement authorities are tight-lipped; in a January 26 email to me, an FBI spokeswoman refused to comment on the status of the investigation. The District of Columbia medical examiner’s office told me Monday by email they “will release the cause and manner of death when this information is available.”
Sources, however, told CNN that the medical examiner “did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma . . . and early reports that he was fatally struck by a fire extinguisher are not true.” Investigators also couldn’t confirm that Sicknick died as a result of reaction to pepper spray.
Messaging from the FBI does little to inspire trust in the Sicknick storyline. The agency at first issued a statement that claimed 37 suspects were under investigation for the officer’s death but later said the statement was in error and relied on “incorrect internal information.”
During a January 12 press briefing on its sweeping investigation into the events of January 6, the assistant director for the FBI’s D.C. field office twice referred to Sicknick as having “passed away,” with no mention of his having been “murdered” or “killed.” A distinction, in this matter, with a big difference.
WILL OPTICS TRUMP THE TRUTH
Comments from Sicknick’s family also raise legitimate suspicions about what happened to their loved one.
“Many details regarding Wednesday’s events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” his older brother wrote in a statement released January 8.
The more likely explanation is that Sicknick wasn’t murdered but died of other causes that neither law enforcement nor the family wants made public. It’s certainly the family’s prerogative to keep it secret; it is not, however, acceptable for the FBI to continue avoiding questions while at the same time feeding the public a false account of what happened to him. And since the medical examiner’s office hadn’t confirmed the cause of death, it’s beyond irresponsible for anyone, particularly a reporter, to describe it as murder…..