Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksDOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit Ex-Sen. Jones rips Mo Brooks over 'irony' remark on Texas Democrats getting COVID-19 Justice in legal knot in Mo Brooks, Trump case 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

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"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 FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (Ariz.) and Reps. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC House Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides MORE (Fla.) and Dennis RossDennis Alan RossBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs Balancing act: Biden must redefine the US-Saudi relationship 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 to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance What you need to know about the new COVID-19 surge Fauci 'heartened' to see top Republicans encouraging vaccinations 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.