Mo Brooks seeks dismissal of lawsuit, says he was acting as federal employee on Jan. 6
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) on Friday filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit brought against him by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) for his role in allegedly inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In court documents filed on Friday, Brooks argued that the speech he gave at the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the Capitol attack was done within “the scope of his office” as a U.S. Congress member.
In the documents, Brooks’s attorney argues that his duties as a congressman include “making speeches (on the House floor and in public) on public policy issues, current events, American history, American civics, election events and issues, and the like.”
He also argued that the tweets that Swalwell cited in his lawsuit fell under his official duties as a congressman as they had been made on his official congressional government account on congressional devices and were drafted by congressional staffers.
In five tweets cited by Swalwell’s team, Brooks appeared to cast doubt on the legitimacy of President Biden’s election victory, writing, “I’m going to be very hesitant to certify the results of this election if Joe Biden is declared the winner under these circumstances b/c I lack faith that this was an honest election.”
As a U.S. House member, I’m going to be very hesitant to certify the results of this election if Joe Biden is declared the winner under these circumstances b/c I lack faith that this was an honest election. Listen to my interview on @WVNN where I explain why. pic.twitter.com/BFN9wrMfWC
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) November 5, 2020
Judge Amit P. Mehta for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday ordered Swalwell to respond to Brooks’s claim by July 27. Mehta also rejected a motion from Swalwell’s team for a “default judgment” to be made against Brooks for being an “unresponsive party,” writing that Brooks could not be considered as such since he had filed his petition to be dismissed.
Brooks was served with the lawsuit in early June after Swalwell’s attorneys said in court filings that they were having difficulty tracking down the congressman. The lawsuit was served to Brooks’s wife, with the lawmaker accusing Swalwell’s attorney of trespassing on his property when doing so.
An attorney for Swalwell denied the accusation, saying the lawsuit had been lawfully served to Brooks’s wife, Martha Jenkins.
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are former President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.