Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Justice Department denies supporting Representative Brooks in January 6 infringement lawsuit

The Justice Department has denied Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)’s request to intervene in a lawsuit related to the January 6 US Capitol breach.

Rep. Eric Swellwell (D-Calif.) sued Brooks, former President Donald Trump and others in March, claiming he incited the violation through comments he made at a rally earlier that day.

Brooks argued a filing This month that he was acting within the scope of his office and should either be dismissed as a defendant or replaced by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Brooks said he spoke at the rally on The Ellipse only because he was asked by a White House official to comment. He also prepared the speech in his Congress office.

The federal law states that the DOJ can prosecute federal employees “for injury or damage to property, or personal injury or death, or as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of its office.” or employment.”

But federal lawyers said Tuesday that Brooks did not show that he was acting within the confines of his office on Jan. Lawyers noted that the January 6 rally was funded and organized by Trump’s campaign and groups supporting Trump’s candidacy.

“The record indicates that the January 6 rally was an election or campaign activity that Brooks would generally consider to be in an informal capacity. In the context of the campaign, a partisan political activity directed specifically towards the success of a candidate for office. – campaigning or campaign activities – not within the scope of the office or employment of a member of the House of Representatives. Like other elected officials, members themselves run for re-election and regularly campaign for other political candidates. But They do so in their personal, rather than official capacities, ”the lawyers wrote. a filing.

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US District Judge Amit Mehta, nominated by Obama, who is overseeing the case, may still decide to substitute the DOJ for Brooks.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) votes in the Longworth House office building on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2019 in Washington. (Patrick Semansky/Pool/Getty Images)

Brooks did not respond to a request for comment. He does not have any lawyer listed in the court.

Philip Andonian, an attorney representing Swellwell, said in a statement to news outlets that “we appreciate the thoughtful analysis by the House Administration and Justice Department committee and couldn’t agree more with their conclusions.”

“This conduct is clearly outside the scope of Brooks’ employment as a member of Congress and the House and the DOJ made the right call in requiring him to answer directly for his actions. It is a major step towards justice.” “

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House Administration Speaker Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said in a letter last week that Brooks’ conduct was outside the scope of her office.

In a separate filing in the case this week, the House of Representatives general counsel said he would not participate in the trial.

“Given that the underlying litigation was personally sued by a sitting member of the US House of Representatives against another sitting member of the House and does not challenge any institutional action of the House or any of its constituent entities That is, the office has determined that, in these circumstances, it is not appropriate to participate in litigation,” said attorney Douglas Letter.

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The Epoch Times

Justice Department denies supporting Representative Brooks in January 6 infringement lawsuit
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