Rep. Mo Brooks asked a federal judge to declare that he was immune from a civil lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) alleging that the Alabama Republican was among several high-profile political figures responsible for inciting supporters of Donald Trump to riot and overrun the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Floating a theory of immunity in a 44-page filing on Tuesday, Brooks claimed he was simply “cooperating” with the “White House,” a decision affecting his ability to perform his congressional duties.
Swalwell’s complaint, filed in March, contends that Brooks—along with Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Rudy Giuliani—”convinced the mob that something was occurring that— if actually true—might indeed justify violence to some, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action.”
In an unusual series of reply filings, Brooks—who is representing himself in the matter—claimed his incendiary speech during Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse fell within the scope of his duty as a member of Congress. However, the lawmaker also noted that he has been “faithful to his wife” of 45 years, has never received a speeding ticket or smoked tobacco, and that none of his four children have been divorced.
Turning to the substance of his request, Brooks urged a federal judge to find he qualifies for Westfall Act immunity, which would require the allegations against him to relate to an official duty.
The Department of Justice recently urged the judge to reject that request, finding the allegations against Brooks did not fit that bill.
“Instigating such an attack plainly could not be within the scope of federal employment,” the Justice Department wrote late last month.
Brooks begged to differ with the DOJ’s legal and factual interpretation of the day’s events.
“It is absolutely a part of the job and duties of the U.S. Congressman from Alabama’s 5th Congressional District that the Congressman cooperate with the White House whenever possible and appropriate to protect and promote the direct and indirect jobs tied to federal activities in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District,” Brooks wrote. “Cooperating, or not cooperating, with the White House affects a Congressman’s effectiveness. Certainly rejecting the request of the White House to give a speech at the Ellipse could hurt a Congressman’s effectiveness. This is particularly true given the importance of the White House to space, defense and other jobs in a Congressman’s district.”
The congressman and Trump acolyte also contended that the rally was not campaign activity for him or the former president, claiming he only agreed to speak at the event the day before it took place.
SOURCE ⇒ LAWANDCRIME
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