Longtime partner of officer who died after Jan. 6 files wrongful death lawsuit against Trump, others
The former president has denied wrongdoing related to the insurrection.
The longtime partner of one of the Capitol Police officers who died after being attacked in the Jan. 6 insurrection has filed a wrongful death suit against Donald Trump, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by ABC News.
The suit, filed in federal court on Thursday by Sandra Garza, the partner of Officer Brian Sicknick, comes nearly two years since the attack -- and accuses Trump of being responsible for Sicknick's death.
Along with Trump, the suit also names two men as defendants, Julian Khater and George Tanios, who were charged with assaulting Sicknick with chemical spray.
Khater has since pleaded guilty to assaulting police with a dangerous weapon; Tanios pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly or disruptive conduct in that building.
Prosecutors said Tanios was the one who bought the spray. Tanios' attorney wrote last year in a court filing that he didn't personally "commit violent acts" on Jan. 6.
Garza's suit alleges wrongful death and conspiracy, among other claims, and seeks $10,000,000 in damages from each defendant.
"The horrific events of January 6, 2021, including Officer Sicknick's tragic, wrongful death, were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants' unlawful actions," the suit alleges.
Responding to the suit, Tanios' attorney said in a statement, "Simply, Mr. Tanios was present on the Capitol grounds, trespassing and disorderly. The recent civil lawsuit naming him as a defendant veers well beyond what the facts support and misconstrues Mr. Tanios’s actual conduct. Mr. Tanios will address those allegations at the appropriate time after the conclusion of the pending criminal case."
In a statement, a Trump spokesperson said that the former president "clearly and unequivocally stated that Americans should 'peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard.'"
The spokesperson also argued that Democratic lawmakers "and many others have promoted ultra-violence against conservatives and those who will not bow down their deranged ideology. President Trump is immune from frivolous attacks and will continue to be fully focused on his mission to Make America Great Again."
It was unclear if Khater or Tanios had retained attorneys who could comment on the suit.
Sicknick was hospitalized after the Capitol attack and died on Jan. 7, 2021.
A medical examiner determined in April 2021 that he died of "natural causes." In a statement, the U.S. Capitol Police said that while they accepted that conclusion, "This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol."
During the riot, at least three officers, including Sicknick, "were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray," according to an affidavit in the case against Khater and Tanios.
One officer said the spray was "as strong as, if not stronger than, any version of the pepper spray they had been exposed to during their training as law enforcement officers," the affidavit stated.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing related to the events of that day.
Last month, after investigating for more than a year, the House committee probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol culminated its sweeping investigation by announcing it would make multiple criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, including against Trump.
In a 160-page summary of its findings, the committee labeled Trump as the "central cause" of the attack.
He has disputed the findings of the committee and denied wrongdoing related to that day.
"The unselect committee [sic] did not produce a single shred of evidence that I in any way intended or wanted violence at our Capitol," Trump said of the voluminous report in a video posted to Truth Social. "The evidence does not exist because the claim is baseless and a monstrous lie."
Trump has also downplayed the events of Jan. 6.
"The events of Jan. 6 were not an insurrection," he has said. "They were a protest that got tragically out of control."
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