Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksLatino groups intervene in Alabama census lawsuit Alabama GOP congressman preps possible Senate bid against Doug Jones Loyalty to Donald Trump is new normal for the Republican Party MORE (R-Ala.) floated the idea on Friday that Republicans may be retiring in large numbers from Congress because of the threat of violence and assassinations. 

In an interview on "The Dale Jackson Show," Brooks suggested that residual fears from a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice in June may be prompting GOP lawmakers to step down. 

"One of the things that’s concerning me is the assassination risk may become a factor," Brooks said, as first reported by Roll Call

ADVERTISEMENT
"You have to wonder with that kind of disproportionate retirement number whether what happened in June played a factor," he added.

He pointed to the fact that several members of the Republican baseball team were among those retiring from Congress, including Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeKelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash Flake to Trump: 'Fake news' didn't side with Putin, you did MORE (Ariz.) and Reps. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyProtecting families of fallen service members from another government shutdown Republicans top Dems at charity golf game Ryan remarks on Trump ‘spygate’ leave conservatives fuming MORE (Fla.) and Dennis RossDennis Alan RossTrump, GOP launch full-court press on compromise immigration measure GOP will vote on immigration next week, sinking discharge petition GOP centrists face decision day on Dreamer petition MORE (Fla.). 

Brooks acknowledged that many of his colleagues who have announced their retirements may not cite threats of violence among their reasons for leaving Washington, but said the number of retirements is "out of whack."

"I don't think any of these people who are retiring would say that, but just looking at the numbers,” he said. “That’s out of whack."

The comments came the same day that GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pa.) announced his immediate resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations, promising to pay back a $39,000 payment of taxpayer money that was used to settle a claim against him.

Brooks's comments also came days after the Republican baseball team held their first practice of the year at the same field in Alexandria, Va., where a gunman opened fire on a group of GOP lawmakers in June.

That attack left five people wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE Overnight Energy: Koch backs bill opposing carbon taxes | Lawmakers look to Interior budget to block offshore drilling | EPA defends FOIA process Koch backs House measure opposing carbon taxes MORE (R-La.), who was injured critically. The gunman was identified as an Illinois man and left-wing activist, who was reportedly angry with President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress.