SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney met with the mother of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, before an expected vote Thursday on a commission to investigate the attack.
Gladys Sicknick, Sandra Garza, who was Sicknick's longtime partner, and two police officers who faced the mob that day, shuttled between Republican Senate offices to urge them to support the commission.
"You know, usually I'm staying in the background and I just couldn't, I couldn't stay quiet anymore," she told reporters after meeting with Romney.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is also meeting with Gladys Sicknick.
Romney has said he would vote to allow the legislation to move forward. Two other Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have said they would as well. Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them to advance the bill.
Romney said he appreciated the opportunity to meet Sicknick's loved ones and officers from Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
"They shared with me the grief, shock and physical trauma they experienced as a result of January 6th. No law enforcement officer should have to confront the violence that occurred that day, especially not on our democracy's most sacred ground," he said in a statement to the Deseret News. "I remain deeply grateful for the incredible bravery and sacrifice of our law enforcement personnel who protected the lives of those of us inside the Capitol."
Romney was the direct recipient of that heroism.
Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman turned the senator away from rioters as he strode down a Capitol hallway looking for a safe space during the riot. Romney didn't know who the officer was until House managers showed a video clip of the encounter during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Romney later thanked Goodman.
Gladys Sicknick told reporters after meeting with Romney that her son was "doing his job and he got caught up in it, and it's very sad."
Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes one day after confronting rioters at the Capitol. The chief medical examiner in Washington ruled that he died of natural causes.
Gladys Sicknick also told reporters that she told Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., to "look just look at the footage of what all these people went through, all these police officers did to keep them safe."
The House passed a bill last week to form a commission to investigate the Capitol attack.
Republican leaders including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Trump all came out against the legislation.