House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy yesterday refused a plea from Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Gladys Sicknick, mother of Capitol Police Office Brian Sicknick, to publicly denounce the 21 members of his party who voted against awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to police officers who defended him and other lawmakers during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrectionist riot.
The California Republican, who met with the three in his Washington office on Friday, also would not agree to their request to repudiate Georgia GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde who compared video of the riotous mob marauding through the U.S. Capitol to a “tourist visit.” McCarthy’s dismissive treatment of the officers is yet another instance of the Republican effort to rewrite history and diminish the severity of the what took place during the riot.
Fanone has said for weeks that he wanted to meet with McCarthy, who opposed the formation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. Following their meeting Fanone said McCarthy told him that he would “address it on a personal level with some of those members.” That response was totally unsatisfactory to the 20-year veteran officer who was violently beaten, shocked multiple times with his own Taser and suffered a heart attack and traumatic brain injury at the hands of the Donald Trump incited mob.
Fanone said, “That’s not what I want to hear. It’s important to hear those denouncements publicly” from the Republican leader.
McCarthy’s weak response is similar to the brush off that Fanone, Gladys Sicknick and Sicknick’s long-time partner Sandra Garza received from Republican lawmakers in a series of meetings with them in late May. “All talk and no action,” Garza said at the time.
Fanone said he is “mentally and physically exhausted” from trying to get GOP lawmakers to acknowledge how deadly serious the insurrection was. “This experience is not something that I enjoy doing,” he said. “I don’t want to be up here on Capitol Hill. I want to be with my daughters. But I see this as an extension of my service on Jan. 6th.”