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Partner of fallen Capitol officer sues Trump, rioters

(The Hill) — The partner of Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who died after responding to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, sued former President Trump and two rioters charged with assaulting Sicknick.

Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s longtime partner, argued in Thursday’s court filing that Trump and the two rioters, Julian Khater and George Tanios, are “directly and vicariously liable” for Sicknick’s death. The filing of the suit came just one day before the two year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot.

“As a direct result of the attack by Defendants Khater and Tanios and others — which Defendant Trump instigated — Officer Sicknick suffered physical injuries,” the lawsuit said. “The following day, on January 7, 2021, Officer Sicknick tragically died.”

“All that transpired on January 6th — including the actions taken by Defendants Trump, Khater, and Tanios — played a significant role in the medical condition that led to Officer Sicknick’s death the following day,” it continued.

Khater pleaded guilty in September to assaulting three police officers, including Sicknick, with a chemical spray amid the Capitol riot. Tanios, who reportedly passed the chemical spray to Khater, took a plea deal in July over charges related to the Jan. 6 attack.

Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes. The lawsuit seeks $30 million in damages from Trump and the two rioters and alleges wrongful death.

Garza also accused Trump and the two rioters of engaging in a conspiracy to block the official certification of the 2020 election, assault or aiding and abetting assault, and rioting or inciting a riot.

“Defendant Trump intentionally riled up the crowd and directed and encouraged a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol and attack those who opposed them,” the lawsuit argued.

“The violence that followed, and the injuries that violence caused, including the injuries sustained by Officer Sicknick and his eventual death, were reasonable and foreseeable consequences of Defendant Trump’s words and conduct,” according to the lawsuit.

Trump has not been criminally charged in relation to the Jan. 6 riot. The House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol unveiled criminal referrals in December and recommended that the Department of Justice investigate the former president for inciting an insurrection. The DOJ is also conducting its own investigation.

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