No Weed, No Divorce, Has Children, Is AL Rep Mo Brooks Defense To Swalwell INSURRECTION Suit
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks is representing himself in the insurrection lawsuit filed by his colleague Eric Swalwell, and it's going exactly well as you'd expect.
After ducking the process server for weeks, Brooks marched into the federal court and demanded that the Justice Department and/or the House Counsel defend him for conduct undertaken in the scope of his work. Unfortunately, his defense included a claim that when he addressed the pitchfork mob on January 6, he hoped "to inspire listeners to start focusing on the 2022 and 2024 elections, which had already begun" — a fairly explicit admission that he was engaged in campaign speech, which is not part of his official duties.
"The record indicates that Brooks's appearance at the January 6 rally was campaign activity, and it is no part of the business of the United States to pick sides among candidates in federal elections," wrote the government in its brush-off motion.
Well, Mo Brooks isn't going to take that lying down, Mister! So he fired off a bunch of motions yesterday telling the judge exactly how to handle this tomfoolery. Characterizing the DOJ's brief as "fictional" and exhorting the court to "resolve whether it will render a decision based on fiction or fact supported by evidence," the congressman offered up some "Verified Brooks Facts."
1. Brooks is 67 years.
2. Brooks has never smoked tobacco. Brooks does not consume alcohol. Brooks has never experimented with or taken illegal drugs.
3. Brooks has never been arrested for or convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors.
4. Brooks has never had a money judgment rendered against him in any civil court for anything. Similarly, Brooks has never settled any litigation against him by payment of any funds to any plaintiff.
5. Brooks has never had a DUI, a reckless driving ticket, or even a speeding ticket.
6. Brooks has never had a motor vehicle wreck in which anyone claimed Brooks was at fault.
7. Brooks has been married 45 years. Brooks has always been faithful to his wife. Together they have raised four children, all of whom are married, none of whom have been divorced, all of whom are law-abiding, none of whom have ever been arrested for anything, all of whom have college degrees and jobs. Brooks' children have blessed him with ten grandchildren, with two twins and another granddaughter on the way.
Mo Brooks has sex with his wife every Saturday night, in the missionary position, so he cannot possibly be sued for INSURRECTION. Allegedly.
There was a decent argument to be made that the DOJ should have to represent Brooks in this litigation, but this ain't it. And neither are the 30 pages of gobbledygook that followed, detailing Democratic objections to the electoral vote certification in 2000 and 2016, since no one is suing Mo Brooks for acting like a jackass and voting against certification of all the swing state electoral votes — he's being sued for telling a bunch of crazy people headed for the Capitol, "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!" Among other inflammatory statements.
The best argument Brooks makes here, and it's still a shitty one, is that his district in Alabama has loads of federal employees, and so kissing the president's ass is part of job.
"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," he 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."
This reasoning is undercut a wee smidge by Brooks's insistence in the same document that Trump never asked him to appear on the Ellipse that day (although he tweeted that Trump did ask him personally, he says it's not true and he has no idea who put that out on his account). Also Donald Trump wasn't going to be president anymore, and the king of Mar-a-Lago has precious little sway over "space, defense, and other jobs" in Alabama.
But wait, there's more! Because the intrepid politician filed two more briefs on Tuesday urging the judge to take a big old red pen to his opponents' filings. Captioned "Motions to Strike False 'Facts,'" Brooks urges US District Judge Amit Mehta to ignore the DOJ's legal reasoning and conclusions because "neither this Court nor the DoJ should rely on rumors; wild, baseless allegations; politically-motivated, partisan tripe and hype; surmises and the like. Rather, this Court must rely on, and its decision be based on, actual evidence and proof. Swalwell's Complaint makes every effort to replicate the Salem Witch Hunt. This Court must decide whether to join the Witch Hunt, or require and consider real evidence on which to base its rulings. Brooks encourages this Court to do the timehonored thing, the latter."
First of all, calm down, Grandpa!
Second, "Motion to Strike False 'Facts'" is not a thing in federal court. Which Mo Brooks might know, if he had practiced law recently.
Documentation Mo Brooks Inactive Status, ineligibility to practice law in AlabamaAlabama Bar Association
You file a reply motion telling the court why your opponent is full of shit — you don't jump up and down screaming like a lunatic and demand that the judge redact your opponents' pleadings. And you certainly don't insist that a federal judge treat the Justice Department like a bunch of lying hacks and consider its conclusions of law to be mere speculation. That's just not how any of this goes.
Third, there's a reason that they say "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." And that goes double if said lawyer has not regularly practiced law for a decade and has very little federal court experience.
Clearly, Brooks was working on the assumption that Attorney General Merrick Garland was going to swoop in and bail him out. And if Brooks coughed up the cash and hired competent counsel to argue the point, he might well be able to force the DOJ to represent him here. Alternatively, he could simply concede that he was engaged in campaign activity on the Ellipse — which is certainly better than fomenting a riot to prevent Swalwell from carrying out his official duties, as alleged in the complaint — and use campaign funds to defend himself going forward. But Brooks has opted for Door Number Three, behind which is complete humiliation as he repeatedly steps on his own dick all over the federal docket.
Hey, remember when Brooks wanted to be senator the last time, and Alabamians were like, "No thanks, we'll take the pedo"?
[Swalwell v. Trump, et al., Docket via Court Listener]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.