JULIE KELLY: The Feds’ Nonexistent Case Against Alleged Sicknick Assailants:
The cause of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s untimely death on January 7 is finally settled, but the prosecution of his alleged attackers rages on.
After months of dishonest accounts about what happened to Sicknick—first that he was bludgeoned to death by “insurrectionists” with a fire extinguisher and then that he died of an allergic reaction to bear spray—the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the 42-year-old died of a stroke; the chemical sprayed in his direction during the chaos outside the Capitol on January 6 did not contribute to his death.
The sketchy photographic evidence against Tanios and Khater included in charging documents isn’t the government’s only problem. Law enforcement doesn’t know for certain if they used the spray at all. Under questioning by Tanios’ lawyer last month, FBI Special Agent Riley Palmertree could not confirm that either man pulled the trigger on the bear spray can:
Attorney: Did Khater use the bear spray that day?
Agent: Not that I know of, but that’s for further investigation—the investigation is still going on regarding the bear sprays.
Attorney: OK. So it’s your understanding that Khater used the smaller canister of OC spray with the black handle that was sort of like on a keychain or could be a keychain?
Agent: That’s according to my investigation, which is still going on.
Attorney: You don’t have any reason to believe that the bear spray was deployed that day at all, do you?
Agent: I have the bear spray cans myself and I haven’t submitted them for analysis, so that’s what I would need to do. That’s a very serious thing that I have to be sure on in a scientific way the best I can.
In a separate filing, Julian Khater’s lawyers argued their client and Tanios were sprayed by others in the crowd, perhaps police officers, and never used the bear spray. The government even admitted in its affidavit that Khater at one point yelled out, “they just sprayed me.” Therefore, it’s a strong possibility the officers, including Sicknick who reportedly told family members he was hit by pepper spray during the protest, were sprayed by something other than the bear repellent.