Post-impeachment, NYT retracts story about Officer Sicknick killed by Trumpster with fire extinguisher

Somewhere out there, there's an amazingly sinister story to be told about what happened in the series of events on Jan. 6 leading up to impeachment.

Because fresh after the slapdash, failed second impeachment of President Trump, the New York Times has withdrawn the rawest element of its story: the anonymously sourced claim that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was killed by one of President Trump's supporters who hurled a fire extinguisher at him.  Trump, recall, was declared "a murderer" for it, with "Trump's legal exposure questioned" for it, as USAToday reported

Here's how bad that New York Times retraction was, as reported by Red State:

If you search for the original NYT story today, you find the following "Note" now at the top:

UPDATE: New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.

Julie Strong at American Greatness has been aggressively pursuing this story for weeks, and two days ago she published a column that noted efforts by media outlets — including the NYT — to slowly back away from narrative created by the early reporting done by the NYT and acknowledging that the cause of Sicknick's death was still undetermined.  (We've also reported on CNN's about-face here.)  

That's the rawest element thus spewed in the impeachment fiasco — that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by President Trump's supporters with a fire extinguisher.

Revolver has an account that Sicknick was alive and well as the riot went on and, creepily enough, reported dead before his death happened.  His family was taking calls from the press about it, and at the time, they had every reason to think he was alive.  If that's true, something really sinister may be going on.

Recall also that Sicknick's death, which wasn't from a fire extinguisher, but now "due to injuries sustained while on duty," drew a huge, massive funeral, with the man lying in state in the Capitol.  The unprecedented show was held that way as a means to advance the narrative that Trump was a killer.  Joe Biden attended (and advanced a mendacious narrative, as Andrea Widburg notes).  You can bet he won't put on such a show next time another police officer is killed by either a leftist or a criminal.  According to PBS, citing the Associated Press:

The 42-year-old officer was only the fifth person to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, a designation for those who are not elected officials, judges or military leaders. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with their spouses, paid their respects during two days of visitation Tuesday and Wednesday, as did members of Congress and his fellow law enforcement officers.

This sounds pretty Potemkin.  Meanwhile, according to USAToday:

The death of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick is being investigated as a homicide by federal and local authorities — a development that raises the stakes of an already sprawling investigation into possible crimes committed during the violent security breach at the Capitol.

The federal officer's death widens the net on who could face severe charges after a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol Wednesday. It also has raised questions about President Donald Trump's possible legal exposure after he leaves office for any role he may have played in inciting the surge.

Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said the Justice Department "will spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible" for Sicknick's death. An official with knowledge of the matter said any criminal charges related to the officer's death will be federal because the events leading up to it happened on federal property. 

As Revolver reports, there's been no Justice Department report.  No autopsy.  Sicknick's remains were swiftly cremated, meaning no additional autopsies, no additional questions, and maybe someone wanted it that way. 

The press seems to have been complicit.  As I noted here, a CNN reporter reportedly danced with glee with a known leftist rioter who's since been arrested for acts at the Capitol, shouting, "We did it!" with him, which if true suggests some kind of complicity.  Someone needs to start answering questions about that.

Now the Times gets rid of its bad reporting, post-impeachment, when it no longer matters, claiming that its two official sources somehow had bad information.  Who the hell were these bounders?  A good reporter would get rid of bad sources like a bad penny based on how they damaged his credibility, but not these guys — they continue to protect them.  The Times doesn't really care about what this stuff does to their credibility based on this behavior.  Yet if they were real journalists, they'd get to the bottom of this and really report how they had been used by creeps spreading false information for political gain.  What were their bad sources' motives?  Were they worthy as sources or political operatives with an agenda?  But this is being hidden in that hope-to-not-be-noticed "oopsie note" at the top of their lower-than-tabloid mendacious story.

Besides the strange role of those two, another third weird one was the Wall Street Journal editorial page swiftly calling for impeachment of Trump in the aftermath of the Capitol riot because of its "transparency."  What was with that speed?  Were they really that naïve?

The press malfeasance is striking here.  So is the narrative they all promoted.  Now that the claims about how Sicknick died have been junked, why, really, did Brian Sicknick die?  Anybody asking?  It sure as hell wasn't the fire extinguisher.

Where was he when he died — on the floor of the Capitol or in his office?  There are two sets of reports.  Why were his remains reportedly cremated so quickly?  Revolver reports that he must have instead died of a stroke, but I think this looks so bad that it shouldn't be ruled out that someone connected to these Trump-hating forces could have killed him in order to pin the crime on Trump.  They hate cops, after all.  Could that have happened?  It ought to be investigated.  The only thing we are getting from this failed impeachment is evidence and suggestions that there's some kind of cover-up going on — a lot of information Trump-haters are desperate to never see the light of day. 

The cover-up extends to another problem that points to some kind of conspiracy and demands an investigation.  Shortly after the fire extinguisher story went out, an innocent citizen was nearly framed for it.

There was this incident where an innocent retired Chicago firefighter was falsely accused of hurling the extinguisher, based on a strange doctored photo where the insignia in the man's cap was altered. 

As I noted earlier:

According to The Patch of Chicago:

The retired Chicago firefighter from Mount Greenwood — whom social media trolls called a "terrorist" and accused of fatally wielding a fire extinguisher that killed a cop as a mob of Trump-supporting insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — was grocery shopping and celebrating his wife's birthday in Chicago, Patch has learned.

Twitter exploded with unsubstantiated claims Tuesday that Quintavalle — who retired from the fire department in 2016 after 32 years — was the bearded "#extinguisherman" in a surveillance video wearing a "CFD" stocking cap wanted for questioning and "soon to be arrested" by the FBI regarding the fatal beating of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

Quintavalle had all his receipts and proofs. But this is how the left's rush to judgment went for him:

By Tuesday night, Quintavalle began getting angry calls from people saying he's a "f------ murderer" who belongs in jail. TV news reporters had staked out his house. Chicago police dispatched a patrol car to keep watch overnight, as well, his lawyer said.

Some folks got ridiculed for tweeting that Quintavalle wasn't "the guy" and his facial features don't match those of the man wanted for questioning by the FBI. One post claimed that tweets disputing Quintavalle's involvement in the U.S. Capitol insurrection were pushed by trolling Twitter "bots with practically no followers coming out of the woodwork."

How does something that strange start, reportedly with bots?  And what a coincidence that it happened in Chicago, home of the Jussie Smollett hoax and the Chicago way.  Any chance there someone might try to pin something on Trump and frame an innocent Chicago man from a sector unpopular with the left to advance the narrative?  Someone needs to ask.

The Journal's hasty Jan. 7 editorial demanding President Trump's resignation or, if not that, then impeachment was ironic, given its claims as to why:

Impeachment has the virtue of being transparent and politically accountable. If there were enough votes to convict in the Senate, it would also seem less partisan. The best case for impeachment is not to punish Mr. Trump. It is to send a message to future Presidents that Congress will protect itself from populists of all ideological stripes willing to stir up a mob and threaten the Capitol or its Members.

Transparency is precisely the opposite of what we have gotten from this slapdash rush-to-judgment impeachment.  We now have a whole slew of questions post-impeachment that demand answers.  Why did the Times (and apparently CNN) run the phony story?  How did Sicknick die?  And biggest of all, is this sinister series of events the evidence in pinpoints pointing to a conspiracy to frame Trump?  We've seen some spectacular conspiracies come out of the woodwork from Trump's enemies desperate to take him down in the past.  It's time that this one got investigated, too.

Image: Screen shot from PBS video via shareable YouTube.

If you experience technical problems, please write to