A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit seeking to hold Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) liable for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol over his remarks at the “Stop the Steal” rally earlier that day. 

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta dismissed part of the lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), ruling that Brooks’s remarks that day are protected speech. The order comes a few weeks after Mehta threw out similar claims against Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr. while allowing allegations against former President Trump to move forward.   

“Specifically, as the court concluded with respect to Defendants Giuliani and Trump Jr., Brooks’s alleged speech that forms the basis for the claims against him is protected expression under the First Amendment,” Mehta, an Obama appointee, wrote in a brief two-page order on Wednesday. 

Brooks, who is running for Senate in Alabama, applauded the decision on Wednesday, attacking Swalwell and insisting that there was no wrongdoing in his remarks at the Jan. 6 rally.

“I make no apologies whatsoever for fighting for accurate and honest elections,” Brooks said in a statement. “The fact that Socialist Democrats tried to ruin me demonstrates my effectiveness in the fight for honest elections and their fear of having to win/lose elections fair and square.”

The ruling was expected after Mehta narrowed several suits against Trump and his inner circle last month and said he would throw out the claims against Brooks, who represented himself in the case, if he also filed a motion to dismiss. 

Still, the case and similar ones filed by other House Democrats and U.S. Capitol Police officers will be closely watched to see whether Trump faces a serious legal threat over his role in rallying supporters with baseless claims of election fraud in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6.

The lawsuits accused Trump and his allies of conspiring to prevent Congress from carrying out its certification of the 2020 election results. 

While Trump may appeal Mehta’s ruling, Swalwell has vowed to use the case to depose the former president. 

“Trump led a conspiracy to violently interfere with the January 6 Joint Session of Congress,” the congressman said last month. “With this ruling, I will move forward to depose Donald Trump and seek all relevant evidence surrounding January 6.”

Updated at 4:43 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Eric Swalwell Mo Brooks Rudy Giuliani

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