House Republicans were roundly criticized in the establishment media for not joining House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her moment of silence on the floor of the House of Representatives to mark the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
A sample of the coverage this inspired from Cristina Marcos at The Hill: “The scene exemplified the attempts by most Republicans to avoid any reckoning with former President Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election that led the violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol and interrupt lawmakers’ certification of the Electoral College count.”
Never mind that a great deal of this leading prose wasn’t true to begin with and was wrong in multifarious ways. (We’ve documented plenty of these issues here at The Western Journal, and we’ll keep setting the record straight. You can help us in our fight to bring America the truth by subscribing.)
They steered clear because Pelosi’s “moment of silence” was a moment of political grandstanding that also happened to have a very glaring lie attached to it.
The moment of silence was, in part, in the memory of four police officers she said died because of the events of Jan. 6.
“I want to acknowledge our fallen heroes of that day,” Pelosi said in her remarks, naming Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood and Billy Evans and Metropolitan Officer Jeffrey Smith.
The death of a police officer is always tragic and shouldn’t be minimized. However, only one of these officers died on Jan. 6, and even his death couldn’t be definitively linked to the Capitol riot.
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh provided a TL;DR primer of what actually happened to the officers: “Sicknick died of a stroke. Evans was killed by a leftist lunatic weeks afterwards. The other two were suicides. Pelosi is lying blatantly and shamelessly. But she’s in the ruling class so she is allowed to do this without consequence.”
Sicknick died of a stroke. Evans was killed by a leftist lunatic weeks afterwards. The other two were suicides. Pelosi is lying blatantly and shamelessly. But she’s in the ruling class so she is allowed to do this without consequence. https://t.co/Gcvhcut4xO
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 6, 2022
Meanwhile, the only person who was killed during the Capitol incursion was Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed Trump supporter who was shot by Capitol Police.
Sicknick died the day after the attack and later lay in honor at the Capitol Rotunda. It was assumed he had suffered some form of injury while engaging rioters, and The New York Times initially reported he had been “struck by a fire extinguisher.”
However, in an April 2021 interview with The Washington Post, District of Columbia medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz confirmed Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes.
He couldn’t reveal whether Sicknick had any pre-existing medical conditions, citing medical privacy laws, but he noted that the officer had no allergic reaction to chemical agents used to contain rioters, nor did he have any internal or external injuries.
Evans, meanwhile, was killed in April, months after the attack. The Capitol Police officer was rammed outside the perimeter of the building by a knife-wielding man in a car. The suspect, Noah Green, was shot to death after he exited the vehicle.
Green’s political sympathies, such as they may have played a role, were diametrically opposite to those responsible for the Capitol incursion; Green was an ardent follower of left-wing hate-preacher Louis Farrakhan, although relatives also said he suffered from mental health issues.
Pelosi, it’s worth noting, wasn’t the only Democrat heavyweight linking Evans’ death to the Jan. 6 riot. During his speech on Thursday, President Joe Biden also conflated Evans’ death with that of Sicknick’s.
“As we stand here today — one year since January 6th, 2021 — the lies that drove the anger and madness we saw in this place, they have not abated,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript. “So, we have to be firm, resolute, and unyielding in our defense of the right to vote and to have that vote counted.
“Some have already made the ultimate sacrifice in this sacred effort. Jill and I have mourned police officers in this Capitol Rotunda not once but twice in the wake of January 6th: once to honor Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life the day after the attack, and a second time to honor Officer Billy Evans, who lost his life defending this Capitol as well.”
Yes, the lies have indeed not abated, although not precisely in the way Biden meant to imply.
As for the suicides of officers Liebengood and Smith, as personal matters, they’re tragedies. When their deaths are being used as political props, however, we’re compelled to note correlation isn’t causality. The fact both of them responded to the Capitol riot has never been mentioned as a causative factor in their deaths.
It would be just as easy — and just as pathetic, insensitive and cynical — for conservatives to adduce a connection between their deaths and a year that saw police officers reduced to cultural villains by the left.
And yet, because both men were useful to the left’s cause, they got roped into it.
At the time of Smith’s death, People magazine reported he “is the third officer to die after a large group of Donald Trump supporters, incited by his repeated false claims about election fraud, stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers gathered to certify Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.”
Not that the publication of record if you’re keeping track of Ben Affleck’s numerous treacheries can be counted on for journalistic accuracy in matters more serious than baby bumps, but People writer Chris Harris didn’t even try to pretend there might not be a direct, 1:1 causal link between the Capitol riot and Smith’s death. Even for a glossy scandal rag, that’s shockingly bad form.
As for Liebengood, at the time of his death, a family attorney said the “family has suffered a devastating loss and asks that they be given space to grieve in private,” according to the Post. They weren’t given that space then, nor are they being given that space now — because, to Democrats, his tragic death is an opportunity to add to the GOP body count.
And that’s the problem. During her moment of silence for these officers on Thursday, Pelosi lied about the nature of their ends. You may believe that lie was one of omission or commission, but it remains a lie.
And this is what the establishment media misses about why the House GOP wasn’t there for Pelosi’s moment of silence. It’s not that they don’t want to reckon with the events of Jan. 6. Instead, they knew better than to have a reckoning forced upon them in which they’re given responsibility for whatever febrile falsehoods the Democrats choose to foist upon them — and all for cynical electoral benefit.
Jan. 6, 2021, was a travesty, a low point in our republic. Jan. 6, 2022, could have been a moment for reflection, healing and perspective. Instead, moments like this — where our Democrat ruling class blatantly lied countless times during what constituted a national paid political advertisement — proved Jan. 6, 2023, will be every bit as disheartening for Americans who love their country and the truth.
Correction: An earlier version of this article provided an incorrect date for Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death. He died on Jan. 7, 2021. We apologize to our readers for the error and for any confusion we may have caused.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.