WASHINGTON — The longtime partner of a Capitol Police officer who died after the Jan. 6 attack sued former President Donald Trump and two Capitol rioters Thursday, arguing that his death was a “direct and foreseeable consequence” of their roles in the mob violence that day.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia just before the second anniversary of the attack, seeks at least $10 million in damages each from Trump and two men accused of assaulting the officer, Brian Sicknick, with chemical spray on Jan. 6, George Tanios and Julian Elie Khater. Khater pleaded guilty in the assault, and Tanios pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
“The horrific events of Jan. 6, 2021, including Officer Sicknick’s tragic, wrongful death, were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the defendants’ unlawful actions,” the suit said, adding that “the defendants are responsible for the injury and destruction that followed.”
Sicknick died the day after the attack, but the Washington medical examiner ruled that it was from natural causes — multiple strokes that occurred hours after the mob confrontation — and prosecutors shied away from linking his death to the assault. But the medical examiner also said that “all that transpired played a role in his condition,” and the Capitol Police consider his death a “line of duty” fatality.
In her suit, Sandra Garza, who as Sicknick’s longtime partner is a representative of his estate, painted Trump as culpable both broadly for the violence on Jan. 6 and specifically for Sicknick’s death. The suit cited the conclusions of the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack, saying that the panel “made a number of criminal referrals” against Trump “based on its finding of ‘sufficient evidence of one or more potential violations,’ ” including inciting an insurrection.
Trump is facing an array of civil suits arguing that he is liable for major financial damages for his role in the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack. A federal judge in February allowed three civil suits against Trump to move forward. The case is being appealed.
Sicknick is one of five police officers at the Capitol on Jan. 6 who died in the year after the attack. The four other officers — Jeffrey Smith, Howard S. Liebengood, Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag — died by suicide.
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