WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers united Wednesday to pay tribute to Brian Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who after being attacked during the Jan. 6 riot.
Sicknick, 42, is among only five civilians to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda.
“Blessed are the peacekeepers like Brian,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
“When members enter the Capitol, this temple of democracy, we will remember his sacrifice,” added Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
On the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., remembered Sicknick as “a hero” and praised his bravery.
“In the face of lawlessness, Brian Sicknick paid the ultimate price,” he said.
For Democrats, Sicknick’s death is entwined with the pending impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, accused of inciting the riot.
“Though I didn’t meet him personally, I will remember him next week when this impeachment trial is under way,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, said, saying Sicknick died “because of a political exercise based on a big lie propagated by the former president of the United States.”
Nearly 400 Democratic Capitol staffers signed onto a letter Wednesday calling on senators to convict Trump. They say Trump’s words are the reason “one of our co-workers who guards and greets us every day was beaten to death.”
But it seems unlikely that enough Republicans will abandon the party line to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump.
“I think the president’s words were inflammatory, I think they were irresponsible, I think they were wrong,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said. “But I do not believe the Senate has the power or authority to impeach him.”
That’s because, Hawley argued, Trump is no longer in office.
“It is dangerous to try and weaponize the impeachment process in order to try and get political revenge,” Hawley said.
Hawley himself has faced scrutiny in the wake of the riot. He was the first Senate Republican to say he would object to certifying Electoral College votes, a move some have said supported Trump’s lies that the election was stolen from him and contributed to emboldening the mob that stormed the Capitol.
Sicknick was buried at Arlington National Cemetery just outside of Washington.