Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) Has responded to a demand accusing him of helping incite the insurrection of January 6, arguing 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 Friday to dismiss the lawsuit, filed in March by Representative Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). The lawsuit 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. The four men made inflammatory remarks at a pro-Trump rally of thousands of people in the Ellipse, near the White House, before the attack.
“Today is the day that American patriots start jotting down names and kicking butt,” Brooks said at the rally. He repeated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the November presidential election had been stolen and asked if those in the crowd were ready to fight.
Brooks argued in his motion on Friday that he cannot be sued because he was acting within the scope of his job as a federal employee, while on the job, and his speech was framed by his duties as a member of Congress.
“Brooks only gave an Ellipse Speech because the White House asked him to, in his capacity as a United States Congressman.” presentation said. “Had it not been for the request of the White House, Brooks would not have appeared at the Ellipse Rally.”
Brooks had put on doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election won by Joe Biden in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, even though there is no evidence that the 2020 vote is unsafe. He repeated that fiction in court documents, insisting that the election was riddled with fraud and that Trump should be the current president.
Judge Amit P. Mehta of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered Swalwell’s team on Monday to respond to Brooks’ claim by July 27. He rejected Swalwell’s request for a default judgment against Brooks.
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