Mo Brooks urged a Jan. 6 crowd to ‘fight.’ Now his actions long before the insurrection face new scrutiny.

cigaretteman

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In early January 2021, as President Donald Trump summoned his supporters to Washington, Rep. Mo Brooks says he received a dire warning from a fellow lawmaker: Antifa was planning to infiltrate the Jan. 6 rally “dressing like Trump supporters.”
The Alabama Republican was so convinced that his life was in danger that he stopped going home and began sleeping on his office floor. He was there Jan. 5 when, shortly before going to sleep, he tweeted that Trump had asked him “personally to speak & tell the American people about the election system weaknesses that the Socialist Democrats exploited to steal this election.”
The next morning, Brooks slipped into body armor underneath a yellow-and-black jacket, and then delivered an incendiary speech to a sea of Trump backers near the White House.
“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks said. “Now, our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes and sometimes their lives … Are you willing to do the same? My answer is yes. Louder! Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America?”
Brooks has faced intense scrutiny over his fiery rhetoric that morning to a crowd that soon stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent attack.
But less public attention has been paid to Brooks’s key role in the lead-up to Jan. 6. A review of his speeches, tweets and media appearances as well as affidavits and other court filings reveals his central part in mobilizing the effort to overturn Joe Biden’s victory by repeatedly claiming that the election was stolen and then becoming the first member of Congress to declare he would challenge the electoral college results.
“I led the charge,” Brooks, 67, said on a podcast hosted by Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former adviser. “At first, it was pretty lonely. I was the only one willing to go out on that limb and say, ‘Look, I’ve looked at it, and in my judgment, there was massive voter fraud, election theft.’ ”
Brooks’s actions are now the subject of a novel lawsuit brought by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) that accuses him of conspiring with Trump and others to undermine the election and help incite the insurrection. Brooks has denied the allegations and is expected to represent himself in U.S. District Court on Monday, arguing that he should be dismissed from the case.
Brooks’s extraordinary efforts to subvert the election were the culmination of a political transformation mirroring the GOP’s larger embrace of Trump. After starting as a traditional conservative, serving as a district attorney and county commission member, Brooks became a leading anti-Trumper in Congress before abruptly turning into one of Trump’s most loyal backers on false claims of mass election fraud.
Now he’s running for the U.S. Senate with Trump’s endorsement and is still campaigning on those falsehoods. A leading opponent in the tight primary race has also called for a “nationwide forensic audit” of the election, and claims that the election was stolen are still so popular in Alabama that Brooks was booed at a Trump rally in August when he suggested it was time to look beyond 2020.
Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate struggles as old and new Republican parties clash in Alabama Senate race
Brooks has recanted or distanced himself from some of his statements. He has acknowledged that he was wrong to suggest antifa may have played a significant role in the insurrection. And he said in a court filing that his tweet saying Trump “personally” asked him to appear at the rally was false; he blamed an unnamed staffer for the tweet and said the invite came from a White House official.
What comes next for the Jan. 6 committee
The House select committee investigating the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 faces an uphill battle with former Trump administration officials. (Blair Guild/The Washington Post)
The congressional committee investigating the insurrection is weighing whether to seek testimony from Brooks and has cited his invitation to deliver a Jan. 6 speech in a subpoena to the White House official who invited him to the rally. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the committee, said she has long been concerned by her colleague’s words and actions.
“He did publicly say over and over things that were not true,” Lofgren said in an interview. “He said the election had been stolen. That’s not true … He admitted he showed up at the rally in body armor, making really extravagant comments about overturning the election and urging people to take action.”
Brooks — who has denied any intent to spark the attack on the Capitol and said he was merely urging protesters to battle at the ballot box — declined an interview request. In response to a list of questions from The Washington Post, his campaign spokesman said in a statement via email that Brooks has not received questions from the committee, or talked or corresponded with it.
“But if Congressman Brooks is asked to testify, the testimony must be in public, not in secret and not denying the American people their right to hear the entirety of testimony by any and all witnesses,” the statement said, lambasting the House’s “Witch Hunt Committee” as politically motivated.
Brooks’s role is even more remarkable given that until Election Day in 2016, few Republicans had spoken more loudly than Brooks to warn voters that nothing said by Trump should be trusted.
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Before becoming one of President Donald Trump's most loyal backers of false claims of election fraud, Brooks was among the loudest anti-Trump voices in Congress. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
It was Election Day 1982 in northern Alabama, and Brooks was awaiting the results of his first bid for public office, a seat in the state House. But as the young Duke and University of Alabama School of Law graduate watched the votes come in, something seemed wrong to him. He would later allege that Democrats had rigged 11 out of the 45 voting machines that day “to vote for everyone on the ballot but me.” After he won the race, a rare Republican victory in a then-heavily Democratic state, he dropped the matter.
Brooks has cited the incident to explain his focus on voter fraud — although journalists have not turned up any findings by state or federal authorities about the claim.
Brooks served in the Alabama House for nearly a decade before he was appointed in 1991 as district attorney for Madison County. Brooks quickly alienated some staffers by ordering them to emphasize harsher charges for lesser offenses, such as prosecuting shoplifting cases of $25 or more as a felony, according to the news service Al.com. Seven assistant district attorneys quit, most in protest of Brooks’s emphasis on conviction rates. Brooks defended his policy, saying at the time, “I don’t know why some prosecutors feel retailers are a lesser class of victim.”
Brooks made his way to Washington in 2010, winning a House race after serving on the Madison County commission. When Trump declared his candidacy in 2015, Brooks instead backed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and became a leading Trump attacker. “I don’t think you can trust Donald Trump with anything he says,” Brooks told MSNBC in February 2016.
He slammed Trump as a “serial adulterer” who lacked “moral values,” and told Al.com that even if Trump became the nominee, “I will not publicly support, or endorse with my reputation, someone who I know to have such huge character flaws and is dishonest.”
After Trump won, Brooks learned what it meant to be in his disfavor. When Brooks mounted a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in a special election in 2017 — and his anti-Trump rhetoric received new attention — Trump backed an opponent instead.
Brooks soon became a politician transformed, determined to win over Trump — a change his critics attributed to his political ambitions and reading of Alabama’s overwhelming support for Trump.



 
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THE_DEVIL

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Brooks — who has denied any intent to spark the attack on the Capitol and said he was merely urging protesters to battle at the ballot box —

The next morning, Brooks slipped into body armor underneath a yellow-and-black jacket, and then delivered an incendiary speech to a sea of Trump backers near the White House.
“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks said. “Now, our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes and sometimes their lives … Are you willing to do the same? My answer is yes. Louder! Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America?”
 
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lucas80

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In one of the weekly letters that I write to MMM I asked her about her case of the mumbles over 1/6, and why she thought Brooks showed up that day wearing body armor?
 
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So Alabama could end up with Sens. Tuberville and Brooks?


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