Five of Clubs, Former U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (AL), newly repentant, sought Trump pardon for trying to overturn the 2020 Election

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution . . . .”
— U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3

 

And how about that 1868 amendment in the Constitution that says no one can serve in Congress “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … to support the constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same”?

  • January 4, 2021: Brooks rails against “the largest voter fraud and election theft scheme in American history”. reuters.com, Feb. 4, 2021
  • January 6, 2021: “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” said Mr. Brooks, “Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? Louder! Will you fight for America?”
  • Hours later, urged on by President Trump at the same rally, rioters stormed the Capitol, where Congress was meeting to formalize Mr. Biden’s election. They chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” threatened to shoot Speaker Nancy Pelosi and forced lawmakers to evacuate the building in a scene of violence and mayhem. 
  • Afterward, police officers recovered long guns, Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and zip ties. At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during the protests and the siege and in the immediate aftermath. nytimes.com,  Jan. 11, 2021.
  • After order was restored at the Capitol, Brooks was among a group of members of Congress who challenged the count of the electoral college votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania among other states. whnt.com, Jan. 8, 2021
  • After the U.S. Capitol riots, Brooks walked back his explanation, vaguely saying, in a statement, that Trump lost because some votes, in his view, were not “Constitution-compliant” and “lawful.”
  • On Jan. 7, 2021: Brooks ingenuously suggests it was ANTIFA protesters guided by clever crowd control, not Trump supporters, who stormed the Capitol. whnt.com, Jan. 8, 2021 
  • CPAC 2021 will feature a panel on “protecting elections,” titled “Other Culprits: Why Judges & Media Refused to Look at the Evidence,” featuring Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a leading voice in Congress who supported Trump’s unfounded efforts to overturn the election. abcnews.go.comFeb. 27. 2021
  • June 6, 2021: After months of evading a lawsuit related to the Capitol insurrection, Rep. Mo Brooks was finally served. .https://www.businessinsider.fr/us/mo-brooks-was-finally-served-a-lawsuit-related-capitol-insurrection-2021-6 June 2021
  • July 29, 2021
    Heather Cox RichardsonJul 30The ripples of the explosive testimony of the four police officers Tuesday before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol continue to spread. Committee members are meeting this week to decide how they will proceed. Congress goes on recess during August, but committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) suggested the committee would, in fact, continue to meet during that break.Committee members are considering subpoenas to compel the testimony of certain lawmakers, especially since the Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that it would not assert executive privilege to stop members of the Trump administration from testifying to Congress about Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection. This is a change from the Trump years, when the Department of Justice refused to acknowledge Congress’s authority to investigate the executive branch. This new directive reasserts the traditional boundaries between the two branches, saying that Congress can require testimony and administration officials can give it.Further, the Department of Justice yesterday rejected the idea that it should defend Congress members involved in the January 6 insurrection. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) sued Alabama Representative Mo Brooks, as well as the former president and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, for lying about the election, inciting a mob, and inflicting pain and distress.Famously, Brooks participated in the rally before the insurrection, telling the audience:
  • “[W]e are not going to let the Socialists rip the heart out of our country. We are not going to let them continue to corrupt our elections, and steal from us our God-given right to control our nation’s destiny.”
  • “Today,” he said, “Republican Senators and Congressmen will either vote to turn America into a godless, amoral, dictatorial, oppressed, and socialist nation on the decline or they will join us and they will fight and vote against voter fraud and election theft, and vote for keeping America great.” 
  • “[T]oday is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!” he said.
  • He asked them if they were willing to give their lives to preserve “an America that is the greatest nation in world history.” “Will you fight for America?” he asked.
  • To evade the lawsuit, Brooks gave an affidavit in which he and his lawyers insisted that this language was solely a campaign speech, urging voters to support Republican lawmakers in 2022 and 2024.
  • But he also argued that the Department of Justice had to represent him in the lawsuit because he was acting in his role as a congress member that day, representing his constituents. 
  • Yesterday, the Department of Justice declined to take over the case, pointing out that campaign and electioneering activities fall outside the scope of official employment.
  • It goes on to undercut the idea of protecting any lawmaker who participated in the insurrection, saying that “alleged action to attack Congress and disrupt its official functions is not conduct a Member of Congress is employed to perform.” This means Brooks is on his own to defend himself from the Swalwell lawsuit.
  • It also means that lawmakers intending to fight subpoenas are going to be paying for their own legal representation.

 

Mark Meadows Exchanged Texts With 34 Members Of Congress About Plans To Overturn The 2020 Election

The Messages Included Battle Cries, Crackpot Legal Theories, And ‘Invoking Marshall Law!!’
[Excerpts:]

Based on TPM’s analysis, Meadows received at least 364 messages from Republican members of Congress who discussed attempts to reverse the election results with him. He sent at least 95 messages of his own. The committee did not respond to requests for comment. Some of Meadows’ texts — notably with Fox News personalities and a couple members of Congress — have already been made public by the committee, media outlets, and in the book “The Breach.” However, the full scope of his engagement with congressional Republicans as they worked to overturn the election has not previously been revealed. 

Meadows’ text log shows what the scheme to reverse the election results looked like behind the scenes, revealing new details about which members of Congress helped spearhead the efforts and the strategies they deployed. The members who messaged Meadows about challenging the election included some of the highest-profile figures on the right flank in Congress, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), all of whom are identified as playing leading roles in the effort to undo Trump’s defeat. 

Meadows’ log also shows certain congressional Republicans playing key roles in the effort to overturn the election. In a Dec. 19, 2020, message, Rep. Jody Hice claims to be “leading the GA electoral college objection on Jan 6.” In a phone call with TPM, Sarah Selip, a spokesperson for Hice, noted he was outspoken in his opposition to the election results in his home state. 

“Our boss did lead the electoral objection for Georgia. I mean that’s just how it is,” said Selip.

Ted Cruz, meanwhile, seems to have played a major part in heading up objections in the Senate. On Jan. 2, he sent Meadows a link to a statement he released with Lummis and nine other colleagues vowing to “vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.” Meadows had a one-word response to Cruz.

“Perfect,” said Meadows. 

The following day, Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller wrote Meadows that Trump himself was pressing Georgia’s senators to “to get on board with the Cruz effort.” A spokesperson for Cruz declined to comment. 

[Mo] Brooks wrote Meadows on Dec. 21, 2020, about plans to have a “White House meeting regarding formulation of our January 6 strategies.” Later that day, Meadows sent a message to Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade later that day indicating the meeting took place. 

“The President and I met with about 15 members of Congress to discuss the evidence of voter fraud in various states as well as discuss the strategy for making the case to the American people,” Meadows wrote to the cable news host. (Eleven of those members — including Babin, Biggs, Gaetz, Gosar, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Hice, Jordan, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) — were later identified by the Jan. 6 Committee, citing White House visitor logs. Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) also attended the meeting.) 

As the electoral certification approached, members of Congress sent Meadows messages expressing concern and anger that some Republicans were not backing their efforts. On the evening of Jan. 5, 2021, Norman wrote Meadows about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“Mark, I hear McCarthy is giving equal time to let those who are opposed to the challenge of the electoral votes which is LUDICROUS!! Trump needs to call Kevin!!” Norman wrote. 

Later that same night, Jordan presented a plan for Pence to throw out the results as he presided over the certification.

On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence. �No legislative act,� wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, �contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.� �The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ��That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.� �226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916). � Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.

Jim JordanJJ

Trump would later rage at Pence for not taking this approach.

Meadows responded to Jordan on the morning of Jan. 6 indicating the vice president was not on board. 

“I have pushed for this. Not sure it is going to happen,” Meadows said. 

Jordan and his office did not respond to a request for comment. 

[Boldface added]

Mo Brooks Seems to Think That Valley Forge Justifies January 6th—It Doesn’t

But there are lessons to be learned from it.

 

The G.O.P.’s Race to Out-Trump the Trumpists

The midterm elections are approaching, and the Republican Party is heading into them with the former President as its leader.

Amy Davidson Sorkin

[Excerpt:]

What was most notable in this exchange was Britt’s reply: she accused Brooks of being the disloyal one. “Every single time, I voted for Donald Trump, and stood with him,” she said. “That wasn’t the step you took.” During the 2016 Presidential primaries, Brooks initially supported Senator Ted Cruz. But the congressman is now best known for the speech he gave at Trump’s January 6th Save America rally, in which he told the crowd that the time had come for “kicking ass.” At a more recent Trump rally, he warned of “godless, evil, amoral socialist Democrats.” Trump has enthusiastically endorsed Brooks, and has derided Britt, who once served as Shelby’s chief of staff, as an unqualified “assistant” to a “rino.” Britt has the backing of Alabama’s business establishment, yet she apparently thought that her best move was to try to out-Trump an unapologetic insurrectionist.

 

“EXCLUSIVE: Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff”

From the explosive Rolling Stone story:

The two sources, both of whom have been granted anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, describe participating in “dozens” of planning briefings ahead of that day when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol as his election loss to President Joe Biden was being certified. 

“I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” the organizer says. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs.”

For the sake of clarity, we will refer to one of the sources as a rally organizer and the other as a planner. Rolling Stone has confirmed that both sources were involved in organizing the main event aimed at objecting to the electoral certification, which took place at the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6. Trump spoke at that rally and encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol. Some members of the audience at the Ellipse began walking the mile and a half to the Capitol as Trump gave his speech. The barricades were stormed minutes before the former president concluded his remarks.

These two sources also helped plan a series of demonstrations that took place in multiple states around the country in the weeks between the election and the storming of the Capitol. According to these sources, multiple people associated with the March for Trump and Stop the Steal events that took place during this period communicated with members of Congress throughout this process. 

Along with Greene, the conspiratorial pro-Trump Republican from Georgia who took office earlier this year, the pair both say the members who participated in these conversations or had top staffers join in included Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks(R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

“We would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back,” says the organizer.

 

Meadows comes under growing Jan. 6 panel spotlight
[Excerpts:]

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is increasingly targeting — and losing patience with — Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s powerful chief of staff who appeared to be deeply involved with the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. This week the committee released 16 new subpoenas over two days, encircling Meadows by demanding depositions from a number of those he worked closest with at the White House. 

It also presented him with an ultimatum after Meadows had been said to be “engaging” with the committee about a deposition originally scheduled for Oct. 15: show up Friday or risk being held in contempt.

Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman and chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC), could also be a link to a number of other lawmakers in the caucus who may also be central to the committee’s investigation. [boldface added]

That includes the lawmakers who have denied Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander’s claim they helped conceive of the strategy of putting “maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting.” Those lawmakers include Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). (boldface added)

The committee is also believed to be interested in the phone records of Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who are also in the House Freedom Caucus. (boldface added)

“Letters from an American”
Heather Cox Richardson 
December 10, 2021

Also today, right-wing provocateur Ali Alexander testified before the January 6th committee for eight hours. Alexander had posted videos claiming that he had helped to plan the rallies in Washington, D.C., working with congressional representatives Mo Brooks (R-AL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ); today Alexander claimed that he was completely uninvolved and was being accused because “[a]s a Black and Arab man, an American, it is common for people who look like me to be blamed for things we did not do.” He said his videos had been taken out of context. 

Federal Judge Dismisses Claims That Congressman Helped Incite Capitol Riot

Dia Gill

Updated Mar. 09, 2022 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/federal-judge-dismisses-claims-that-republican-representative-mo-brooks-helped-incite-capitol-riots

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) has been acquitted of civil claims alleging he incited rioters during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol last year by giving a speech. U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta said Wednesday that the speech Brooks gave to the crowd was protected by the First Amendment as free speech. Mehta’s ruling has thrown a wrench in House Democrats’ efforts to sue former President Donald Trump and his allies for inciting the crowd during the riot. This isn’t the first ruling of its kind by Mehta—in February, he dismissed civil claims against Brooks’ co-defendants, including Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr., but told the plaintiffs to continue their claims against the former president. Mehta has already stated that Trump wasn’t immune from lawsuits filed against him and that the speech he gave on the day of the riot—in which he told supporters to “fight like hell” to “stop the steal”—was not within his official duties as president.[Boldface added]

Read it at Reuters

 

The Bulwark

Morning Shots with Charlie Sykes

March 24, 2022

Too Crazy for Mo Brooks

Trump wanted him to rescind the election

Until yesterday, Mo Brooks’ greatest claim to fame was his fiery speech — while wearing body armor — at the January 6 rally at the Ellipse where the congressman told the crowd — “today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!”

Brooks was so deep into the Big Lie that he continued to insist for months that Trump would have won the 2020 election if only “lawful votes” were counted. His lavish adherence to the MAGA version of reality won him Trump’s endorsement for the senate in Alabama.

He was so proud.

Image

But Brooks has been struggling in that race and, as his candidacy started to falter, the anxiety apparently began to spread in Mar-a-Lago: Maybe he was a loser. And we know how TFG feels about losers.

But the final blow, apparently, was Mo’s suggestion that it just might be time to move on from the 2020 election. As Steve Bannon noted yesterday, any suggestion that the election might have been legitimate is “a mortal sin” in Trump’s world.

“It’s a lesson to everyone,” Bannon said. “Trump can giveth, and Trump can taketh away.” And Wednesday, Trump tooketh away with a vengeance.

In his excommunication of his fellow seditionist, Trump complained, “Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went ‘woke’ and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, ‘Put that behind you, put that behind you,’ despite the fact that the Election was rife with fraud…”

(Mild digression here: Mo Brooks does not have even an infinitesimal trace of “wokeness,” so this is a reminder that the word has now, officially, lost all meaning other than as a random MAGA insult.)

But back to Trump’s defenestration of Mo.

“When I heard his statement, I said, ‘Mo, you just blew the election, and there’s nothing you can do about it,’” Mr. Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. “Very sad but, since he decided to go in another direction, so have I.”

And so ended a beautiful friendship. But please take a moment to contemplate what happened next.

The jilted Mo issued a statement outlining what he said Trump had demanded of him. Let me break it down. Brooks claimed that Trump had asked him to:

  • rescind the 2020 elections
  • immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House
  • immediately put President Trump back in the White House and
  • and hold a new special election for the presidency

As God is my witness, these are words I never thought I would write: Too crazy for Mo BrooksBut what Trump was asking was too unconstitutional, too illegal, too undemocratic, too coup-like, and too insane… even for Mo Brooks. He explained:

As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period.”

“I’ve told President Trump the truth knowing full well that it might cause President Trump to rescind his endorsement.”

One obvious caveat is in order: Mo Brooks may not be a reliable narrator. But you have to ask yourself, why would he lie about this, knowing that it will obliterate his future in Trumplandia? And why would he draw the line here, when he had been a reliable cheerleader for Trump’s last coup-attempt, and his multiple lies about the election?

Occam’s Razor: Because it was that bad.

 

New details show extent of GOP effort to unwind Trump’s loss

Documents and texts stemming from the House investigation into Jan. 6, 2021, offer new details about the extent House Republicans, particularly members of the Freedom Caucus, were involved in plans to unwind the 2020 election — even as lawyers at the White House warned them their proposals could be illegal.

The content — released in the committee’s court battle against Mark Meadows and in a trove of texts to the former chief of staff obtained by CNN — outlines a lengthy list of Republicans involved in conversations with the White House about planning for the rallies on Jan. 6 and efforts to oppose the certification of votes that day.

Taken together, the messages show how early the White House reached out to lawmakers in its effort to keep former President Trump in office.

They also show a consistent effort by various members to strategize over how to keep Trump in office after his election loss.

That effort ranged from selecting alternate slates of electors from swing states ahead of the Electoral College vote to directing the crowd to the Capitol after the Jan. 6 rallies to discussing the possibility that Trump declare martial law days before he was set to leave office. 

Testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to the president and Meadows, relays that Meadows, a former Freedom Caucus chairman, was the one to make “outreach” to members of the conservative caucus, including then-Rep-elects. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Hutchinson identified those four as being involved in the earliest stages of efforts to unwind the election.

Texts to Meadows as early as three days after Election Day 2020 show lawmakers rallying around the idea of alternate electors.

“I’m sure you have heard of this proposal,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) texted to Meadows on Nov. 6. “Is anybody on the team researching and considering lobbying for that?”

As early as the first or second week of December, the White House’s own counsel was pushing back against the idea.

“Hey, this isn’t legally sound, we have fleshed this out internally, it’s fine that you think this but we’re not going to entertain this in an official White House capacity on behalf of the President, we’re putting a stop to this,” Hutchinson characterized the White House Counsel’s Office as saying.

That message was relayed to at least Perry, Jordan, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), according to Hutchinson.

By Dec. 21, a larger group was meeting at the White House with Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani, where the focus had shifted to the ways former Vice President Mike Pence could buck his ceremonial duty to certify the election results.

That group attending that meeting included Jordan, Brooks, Biggs, Gaetz, Greene, Gohmert, Perry, and Reps. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Hutchinson said.

“They felt that he had the authority to — pardon me if my phrasing isn’t correct on this, but — send votes back to the States or the electors back to the States, more along the lines of the Eastman theory,” Hutchinson said, referring to John Eastman, who crafted two memos for the Trump campaign outlining how to challenge the election.

“I don’t recall anybody speaking out and definitively expressing disagreement with that theory,” she said of the lawmakers, adding that “the vice president’s team appeared slightly skeptical.” 

Later that day, Brooks suggested to Meadows they try to frame the meeting as being both positive and productive after being contacted by reporters.

“Media is contacting my office about this afternoon’s White House meeting regarding formulation of our January 6 strategies,” Brooks wrote to Meadows. “Does the White House want me to reply or be mum? Also, it is one thing to discuss (in general terms) our meeting beforehand. It is another to discuss afterwards.

“If you believe discussion is a positive, I suggest message should be: 1. Progress is being made. 2. More are joining our fight. 3. We can’t allow voter fraud & election theft occur if we are going to be a republic. Your choice. Let me know,” he concluded.

About a week after the meeting, Greene complained to Meadows they didn’t get enough time to chat with Giuliani about the strategy.

“We have to get organized for the 6th. I would like to meet with Rudy Giuliani again. We didn’t get to speak with him long. Also anyone who can help. We are getting a lot of members on board. And we need to lay out the best case for each state,” she texted Meadows on New Year’s Eve.

While lawmakers were coordinating with the legal team through the White House, Perry was involved with Trump’s pressure campaign at the Department of Justice (DOJ), texting Meadows on both Dec. 26 and Dec. 28 to encourage him to make contact with Jeffrey Clark. Trump would later weigh installing Clark, a mid-level DOJ official who primarily worked on environmental issues, as acting attorney general in order to forward investigations into his baseless election fraud claims.

But new testimony released by the committee shows DOJ staff pushed back as Clark tried to get a memo directly to Pence to encourage him to not certify the election results on Jan. 6.

“Mr. Clark suggested that OLC provide a legal opinion to the Vice President with respect to his authority when it comes to opening the votes as the President of the Senate on Jan. 6,” Steven Engel, who served as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at DOJ under Trump, told the committee.

“And I shot down that idea, but I said — I said: That’s an absurd idea. The — you know, the Vice President is acting as the President of the Senate. It is not the role of the Department of Justice to provide legislative officials with legal advice on the scope of their duties. And — you know, and — not to mention it was 3 days from the date. OLC doesn’t tend to provide the legal opinions, you know, in those cases, you know, in that short timeframe,” he added.

As Jan. 6 neared, lawmakers were once again coordinating with the White House about preparations for the day, including a discussion over whether to actively encourage rallygoers to march to the Capitol.

“I remember Mr. Perry had said that he had been starting to put tweets that night, Congressman Perry, that he was going to start putting out tweets that night, and he was a primary participant in the call,” Hutchinson said.

“I don’t think there’s a participant on the call that had necessarily discouraged the idea,” she added. “I don’t recall every single participant on the call that night, but I do recall it was a Freedom Caucus call.”

Gaetz would also go on to advertise on Jan. 5 during an appearance on Fox News that there could be “tens of thousands of people potentially marching in the streets in Washington, D.C., tomorrow.”

The same two troves show many GOP lawmakers would text Meadows as the chaos was unfolding at the Capitol, with some pleading for the chief of staff to get Trump to take action.

And other prior reporting shows that some Republicans who were initially involved eventually backed away from White House efforts amid their own doubts.

Still, another text from Greene just days before President Biden’s inauguration shows Greene — and evidently other members — were hopeful Trump might still try to resist any effort to swear in a new president and provide lawmakers tools to go after the new president.

 “In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall law. I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him,” she texted Meadows on Jan. 17.

“They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!” she added.

[Boldface added]

 

All three quickly declined. The panel also said it had evidence that some House Republicans sought pardons from President Donald J. Trump in connection with the effort to overturn the election.

[Excerpt:]

Mr. Brooks, who wore body armor onstage that day as he told the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass,” and Mr. Biggs, who provided a video message for Mr. Alexander to play at a Dec. 19 rally, have denied coordinating event planning with Mr. Alexander.

The panel wants to question Mr. Brooks about statements he made in March claiming that Mr. Trump had asked him repeatedly in the months since the election to illegally “rescind” the results, remove President Biden and force a special election.

Mr. Brooks said Mr. Trump had made the request of him on multiple occasions since Sept. 1, 2021. He said the former president did not specify exactly how Congress could reinstall him, and that Mr. Brooks repeatedly told him it was impossible.

“I told President Trump that ‘rescinding’ the 2020 election was not a legal option. Period,” Mr. Brooks said.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas five House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

The committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob has subpoenaed five Republican members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), after they refused to cooperate with the panel’s inquiry.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the select committee, said Thursday that the panel has subpoenaed McCarthy and Reps. Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Scott Perry (Pa.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio).

The move marks a significant escalation in the committee’s efforts to obtain information related to lawmakers’ communications with then-President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before, during and after the attack.

They Insisted the 2020 Election Was Tainted. Their 2022 Primary Wins? Not So Much.

Republicans are accepting their primary victories with little concern about the voter fraud they once falsely claimed caused Donald J. Trump’s loss.

[Excerpts:]

This spring, when Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama was fighting to win over conservatives in his campaign for Senate, he ran a television ad that boasted, “On Jan. 6, I proudly stood with President Trump in the fight against voter fraud.”

But when Mr. Brooks placed second in Alabama’s Republican primary last week, leaving him in a runoff, he said he was not concerned about fraud in his election.

“If it’s a close race and you’re talking about a five- or 10-vote difference, well, then, it becomes a greater concern,” he said of his primary results. “But I’ve got more important fish to fry. And so, at some point, you have to hope that the election system is going to be honest.”

Mr. Brooks was one of 147 Republican members of Congress who voted on Jan. 6, 2021, to object to the results of the 2020 presidential election. Hundreds more Republican state legislators across the country took similar action in their own capitals. President Biden’s victory, they said, was corrupted by either outright fraud or pandemic-related changes to voting.

Now, many of those Republicans are accepting the results of their primaries without complaint. Already this year, 55 of the lawmakers who objected in 2020 have run in competitive primaries, contests conducted largely under the same rules and regulations as those in 2020. None have raised doubts about vote counts, even as Mr. Trump has begun to spread unfounded claims. No conspiracy theories about mail ballots have surfaced. And no one has called for a “forensic audit” or further investigations of the 2022 primary results.

Most Republicans’ easy acceptance of a voting system they once slammed as broken exposes a fundamental contradiction in their complaints about the 2020 election. Claims about fraud and stolen elections are often situational — used in some races (against Democrats) but not others (against other Republicans), and to challenge some outcomes (losing) but not others (winning).

This phenomenon was on clear display in 2020, when scores of Republicans who repeated allegations about a “rigged” presidential race accepted their own victories based on the same ballots.

But the lack of discussion about fraud in this year’s primaries highlights a particular strain of partisanship driving many of the myths about stolen elections.

Mr. Brooks offered a simple answer to why he’s not worried about his race: There’s no fraud in Republican primaries, he said.

“I’m in a Republican primary, and noncitizens don’t normally vote in Republican primaries,” Mr. Brooks said. “In a Republican primary or a Democrat primary, the motivation to steal elections is less because the candidates’ philosophy-of-government differences are minor.”

Noncitizens do not vote in federal elections in significant numbers, in Alabama or elsewhere, according to a 2020 report from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Investigators from both parties have unearthed only minuscule numbers of any type of voter fraud. In recent years, the rare instances of broad fraud schemes that have become public have been engineered by Republicans, including an absentee ballot scheme in North Carolina that led the state’s Board of Elections to order a redo of a House race in 2018.

The Republican effort to sow skepticism about elections in racially diverse Democratic cities is a generations-long project, with roots as far back as Richard Nixon’s 1960 defeat against John F. Kennedy. By the time Mr. Trump lost the 2020 election, he and millions of his supporters were primed to believe false allegations about “ballot harvesting” and machines miscounting in America’s populous cities. Mr. Brooks said in an interview that, in Alabama, fraud occurred “in predominantly Democrat parts of the state.”

Part of the reason Republican candidates are accepting primary results without talking about fraud is they don’t have Democrats to blame, said Trey Grayson, the former Republican secretary of state in Kentucky.

“They’re thinking it’s a primary, it’s our side. We didn’t lose to somebody on the other side who is evil, who’s going to change policy more dramatically,” Mr. Grayson said in an interview. “There’s a tribal, ‘my side’s always right, your side is always wrong. We’re not stealing elections, your side is stealing elections.’”

And for all his bluster about the 2020 election being stolen from Mr. Trump, Mr. Brooks said he had high confidence in Alabama’s elections. He said fraud was rare because of the state’s voting laws, which have tighter early and mail voting rules than most other states.

But Mr. Brooks has taken issue with Alabama elections before. When he won a state House seat in 1982, he accused Democrats of rigging the voting machines.

Henry Frohsin, the chief assistant U.S. attorney for northern Alabama at the time, said that Mr. Brooks’s claims were investigated and dismissed.

“Congressman Brooks’s allegations were insubstantial,” Mr. Frohsin said in an interview. “We declined to prosecute the case because there was no merit to it.”

[Excerpt]
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said on Sunday that he would refuse to testify before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol if it is in private or before his Senate primary runoff election next month.

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🚨NEW: “Donald Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans. – Mo Brooks, Ex-Congressman (R-AL) https://t.co/atGDfw0pNx

9:54 PM ∙ Nov 13, 2022


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“Democracy is not what governments do; it’s what people do.”

— Howard Zinn