More to the point, unidentified law-enforcement officials told CNN of findings by medical examiners that Sicknick’s remains bore no signs of blunt-force trauma and that the fire-extinguisher account was not true. There is video from the day of the siege of an incident in which a rioter hurled a fire extinguisher at security personnel. There has been no public claim, however, that Sicknick was involved in that incident.
It appears certain that Sicknick was not rushed to the hospital directly from the Capitol. Several reports indicate that he returned to his police office. Hours after the siege ended, he texted his brother to say he had been “pepper sprayed twice” but was otherwise “in good shape.” Tucker Carlson notes that, according to the head of the Capitol police union, Sicknick had a stroke. That is consistent with a report from KHOU in Houston regarding what the Sicknick family was told about how the officer died.
Like the first Times report claiming a lethal assault with a fire extinguisher, the KHOU report about a stroke was published on January 8 (the day after Sicknick died). Plainly then, weeks before filing their pretrial brief, during which they were conducting their investigation and preparing for trial, the Democratic House impeachment managers knew there were conflicting reports about the circumstances that led to Officer Sicknick’s demise. Having had all that time to sort out the facts — and remember, House impeachment managers opened the Democrats’ presentation on Tuesday by stressing that their case is all about facts — the managers chose to allege in their pretrial brief that, after being incited by the former president, Trump supporters had killed Sicknick “by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”