- Michael Fanone decried the poor GOP presence at the Jan. 6 memorial ceremony at the Capitol.
- “It’s a disgrace to their party and it’s disgraceful behavior,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
- Multiple media outlets reported that Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the only GOP lawmaker at Friday’s event.
Former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone on Friday blamed Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill for their poor attendance at a memorial ceremony honoring law enforcement officers who protected the complex during the Capitol riots, calling the lack of support “disgraceful.”
Fanone, who served as a metropolitan officer for about 20 years before resigning from the force in December 2021, told CNN that while he didn’t like to paint anyone with a “broad brush,” he criticized the GOP’s response to the event as “a disgrace ” for the party.
Multiple outlets, including Insider, reported that only a GOP congressman — Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania — was apparently present at Friday’s ceremony, which was dominated by Democratic lawmakers.
“For the last two years that I’ve been open around January 6th, I’ve tried to walk a fine line when it comes to condemning Republicans,” Fanone told CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview. “No one likes to be painted with a broad brush. Law enforcement certainly doesn’t, and I don’t believe all Republicans are sympathetic to the MAGA agenda.”
He continued: “That being said, it’s very hard to defend the Republican Party when just one of their members takes the time to come forward and show support for the police who were there defending them that day. It’s a shame. It’s a shame on their party , and that is disgraceful behavior.”
Fanone, who received the Presidential Citizen’s Medal — one of the nation’s highest civilian awards — from President Joe Biden during a White House ceremony on Friday, decried the GOP’s poor turnout at the Capitol event.
“As someone who has supported Republican candidates in the past, it’s shameful,” the former police officer told Tapper. “But they seem to be the party, at this point, that has no shame.”
After the Capitol ceremony, Fitzpatrick, a former FBI supervisory special agent, told Insider’s Bryan Metzger that he wanted to be at the gala event.
I wanted to be here, he said.
Fitzpatrick told ABC News that January 6 was “a terrible day that we must never allow again.”
Republicans were still mired in a leadership crisis Friday morning amid a revolt among the party’s right wing — since Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California had not yet taken over as speaker of the House — with a morning GOP conference call overlapping the ceremony. However, the ceremony was largely over minutes after the scheduled roll call began, according to Insider, and the House did not resume efforts to select a speaker until noon that day.
The Jan. 6 ceremony focused on remembering the law enforcement officers — including Brian D. Sicknick — who died after the riot, along with four police officers who died by suicide after the attack.
Sicknick — who fought the mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 — suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the next day, according to Washington, D.C., medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz, with the medical official stating that “all of these played a role in his condition.”