Rep. Mo Brooks
(R-Ala.) has responded to a lawsuit
accusing him of aiding in the incitement of the January 6
insurgency by claiming that it was part of his official duties and that he would not have done it if the White House
had not asked him to.
Brooks filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit filed in March by Rep. Eric Swalwell
(D-Calif.). The suit alleges that former President Donald Trump
, his son Donald Trump Jr
., his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani
, and Brooks were responsible for mobilizing the mob that violently stormed the United States Capitol. All four men made incendiary remarks at a thousands-strong pro-Trump rally.
is the day American patriots begin taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks said at the rally, repeating Trump’s baseless claims that the November presidential election
was stolen and asking if the crowd was ready to fight.
Brooks argued in his motion Friday that he cannot be sued because he was acting within the scope of his job as a federal employee, during work
, and his speech fell within the scope of his duties as a member of Congress
The filing stated that “Brooks only gave an Ellipse Speech because the White House asked him to, in his capacity as a United States congressman,” and that “Brooks would not have appeared at the Ellipse Rally if it had not been for the White House request.”
Brooks had cast doubt on the legitimacy of Joe Biden
's 2020 election
victory in the run-up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
, despite the lack of evidence, and he repeated that fiction in court filings, insisting that the election was rife with fraud
and that Trump should be the current president.
Amit P. Mehta of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
issued a deadline of July 27 for Swalwell's team to respond to Brooks' claim, and she denied Swalwell's request for a default judgment against Brooks.