Mo Brooks says he would 'be proud' if staff helped organize Jan. 6 rally

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksJan. 6 organizers used burner phones to communicate with White House: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House Democrats eye big vote on Biden measure Meadows comes under growing Jan. 6 panel spotlight MORE (R-Ala.) is denying reports of his possible involvement in the planning of the Jan. 6 rally, but said in an interview published Monday that he would be "proud" if a member of his staff had helped plan the event that preceded the deadly attack on the Capitol.

“I had no intentions of going to that rally until Jan. 5, when the White House asked me to speak,” Brooks told AL.com in a phone interview, explaining his appearance at the rally. 

During the interview, the Alabama congressman denied a report in Rolling Stone over the weekend that said he or his top staffers had been in contact with the people organizing the "Stop the Steal" rally and other protests following the 2020 presidential election. 

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“Quite frankly, I’d be proud of them if they did help organize a First Amendment rally to protest voter fraud and election theft,” Brooks told AL.com.

Brooks reportedly reiterated this sentiment to CNN's Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona.

Zanona tweeted that Brooks said to her on Monday, “I don’t know if my staff did ... but if they did I’d be proud of them for helping to put together a rally lawful under the First Amendment at the ellipse to protest voter fraud & election theft."

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Brooks was reportedly wearing body armor to the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6, where he said: “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

The Republican representative is being sued by Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Omar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place MORE (D-Calif.), who has accused Brooks along with former President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE and some of his allies of provoking the deadly riot that broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Brooks has fought the lawsuit, attempting to avoid being served and seeking to dismiss himself from the suit on the grounds that speaking at the rally was part of his job as a congressman.

In July, lawyers for the Department of Justice declined to back his claim that speaking at the rally was part of his job.

"The record indicates that Brooks’s appearance at the January 6 rally was campaign activity, and it is no part of the business of the United States to pick sides among candidates in federal elections," the court filing from the DOJ read.

Brooks, who is representing himself in the suit, pushed back against this argument in August, claiming he should have immunity from Swalwell's lawsuit.

"In 4 decades of public service, Brooks has a perfect ethics record, having never been found to have violated any ethics laws, large or small (despite Democrats, over the years, having harassed Brooks with at least 38 ethics complaints, none of which have been found to be substantive or warranted)," he wrote of himself.