Alabama’s Mo Brooks Claims He Can’t Be Sued Over Capitol Riot
(Bloomberg) -- Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, claims he can’t be sued over his fiery speech challenging the 2020 election results at a rally just before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because he’s a federal employee.
Brooks made the argument in a July 2 filing responding to a suit by a fellow member of Congress. Representative Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat, accuses Brooks, former President Donald Trump and others of inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection.
“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names,” Brooks told the crowd gathered for the Jan. 6 rally.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington on Monday accepted Brooks’s filing, rejecting Swalwell’s motion to have judgment entered in his favor because the Republican missed the deadline to respond.
In his filing, Brooks cites the Westfall Act, which protects employees of the federal government from being sued over actions related to their jobs. Trump has also moved to the dismiss the suit on similar grounds, arguing presidents are immune from civil litigation.
“Brooks represented the interests of his constituency when Brooks challenged the Electoral College vote submittals of states whose election processes were less than reliable in the judgment of Brooks,” he said in the filing. “It makes no difference whether Brooks was right or wrong.”
Swalwell’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
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