Revolver News’ Darren Beattie shares his new report revealing the narrative on the death of officer Brian Sicknick is completely collapsing.
Revolver News Reports
A major development broke this week in the Federal investigation into what exactly caused the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
The below headline from Salon captures what was supposed to have happened:
But providing “clarity” into Sicknick’s death was approximately the opposite of what transpired.
Here’s what we know:
Two men, Julian Khater and George Tanios, have been charged with nine criminal counts for actions taken on January 6th just outside the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. The most serious offense appears to be assault on an officer with a dangerous weapon, arising from Khater’s alleged use of Tanios’s chemical spray to tag Officer Sicknick and two other officers in the face.
It’s not fully clear whether “dangerous weapon” or “deadly weapon” is the apt description. The front page of the criminal complaint describes the assault as only being with a “dangerous weapon”.
The Justice Department ‘s own presumably authoritative website press release stipulates only the charge of assault with a “dangerous weapon“. In ordinary circumstances, this distinction would be meaningless, since at the legal level, “dangerous” and “deadly” are effectively the same thing on a weapons charge.
But at the narrative level, it means everything. The question of whether the events of January 6th were only “dangerous” versus actually “deadly” is effectively the dividing line between “a situation getting out of line” and “domestic terrorism.”
Examining The Charges
Criminal masterminds, the duo charged are not. Julian Khater, 32, runs a smoothie shop called Frutta Bowls in Penn State’s college town in Pennsylvania. George Tanios, 39, runs a sandwich shop trademarked “Sandwich U” or “King of the Fat Sandwich” in West Virginia. The two men were evidently childhood friends in New Jersey. In May 2020, Tanios appears to have filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
The Million Dollar Question hanging over this trial in both criminal court and the court of public opinion is why these two men have been charged with assault, not murder. Recall that “murder” was both the mainstream media’s and Congress’s unrelenting meme for the first whole month following the events of 1/6, culminating in a full-on impeachment conviction at the House of Representatives.
After Revolver News and other outlets debunked the initial fire extinguisher hoax, The Narrative transitioned from “murdered by MAGA” to “died from injuries caused by MAGA.”
But “died from injuries” is not what the DOJ is alleging. In fact, they strictly and studiously avoid that allegation altogether.
If the FBI and DOJ believed (or thought they could later prove) that Khater’s act of spraying Sicknick contributed to his death, there are any number of charges the DOJ should have filed instead. Those include manslaughter (unintentional murder resulting from extremely reckless disregard for human life) or perhaps negligent homicide (unintentional murder as a result of gross negligence). Even within assault categories, the DOJ appears to be pursuing simple assault (the least serious form, which usually involves minor injury or a limited threat of violence), rather than aggravated assault (a far graver charge, related to assaults concerning serious bodily harm).
So what we have instead is a simple assault case that is marketed as a murder, with stacking charges tantamount to mass murder, and possibly a murder case upside (see below), but no murder actually alleged — at least not yet.
Tanios is facing 60 years in prison, which is considerably more time than for typical first degree murder, despite the fact that Tanios not only did not spray Sicknick (it was Khater who allegedly did so), but the criminal complaint does not allege he even entered the U.S. Capitol building that day. At 39 years of age, if Tanios is found guilty on all counts with no leniency at sentencing, he will leave prison at 99 years old.
Ten weeks after 1/6, there is still no toxicology report, no autopsy results, and no cause of death identified for Officer Sicknick. We are now told that the results of the toxicology report have not been released because they are still incomplete.
But surely, 10 weeks into a process that normally takes 4-6 weeks to finish, the DOJ has at least some internal, preliminary indications of what those toxicology findings are likely to show. It follows that the DOJ is either (1) firewalled from those findings and has filed simple assault charges with the disciplined intent to file superseding murder charges if supported by the toxicology report, or (2) aware that the toxicology report shows no connection between the spray incident and the death, and is deliberately obscuring the court filing language and the public’s impression to falsely suggest a Big Reveal will ultimately vindicate their present lack of answers.
Of course, a third, unsightly option remains: that the DOJ is pursuing assault because it does not want to disclose, debate or litigate aspects of the autopsy, toxicology findings or coroner’s report in open court.
Failure to Provide Video, or a Still of the Video’s “Money Shot”
The crux of the prosecution’s case is that they discovered surveillance video footage, plus corroborating officer body cam footage, showing Khater spraying Sicknick and two other officers with chemical spray. But neither the surveillance video nor the body cam footage has been made publicly unavailable.
While the 11-page criminal complaint and the 65-page FBI Special Agent affidavit both refer to the same six screenshots purporting to be video frames from the surveillance and body cam footage, none of the screenshots show the “money shot” where Khater supposedly sprays the officers.
For completeness, the six screenshots are reproduced below.
Eight figures are provided in the court filings, but two are simply generic social media photos of Tanios not at the Capitol. These are the only images the public has been provided, and may be the only images the public is provided until trial. And we may only hope the DOJ does not move to seal further images or video from public viewing.
The whole prosecution is based on key frames from the video which prove nothing. Why not provide the video? And if you’re not going to provide the video, why not at least provide the still frames of the moments Officers Sicknick, Edwards and Chapman “all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face?”
Why provide that surveillance footage but neither the surveillance footage nor the body cam video? It’s not like we are dealing with graphic or facially upsetting content. We now know this spray event happened at approximately 2:23pm, and that Sicknick texted his own brother “that night” (which would be at least several hours after) that while he had been pepper sprayed, he was in good spirits.
The exact words reported: “He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape,” said Ken Sicknick.
A charitable interpretation of all this could be that the FBI and DOJ are simply being only moderately unethical, and have deliberately calculated their selective releases to maximize chances of DOJ prosecution rather than public disclosure of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God.
A non-charitable interpretation could be that they straight-up “don’t have the goods” on the video footage, Khater’s connection to the three officers’ spray injuries, the toxicology report’s connection to Officer Sicknick’s actual cause of death, or any of hundreds of lurking variables and unexplained questions still plaguing this case.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.