(FreedomBeacon.com)- On Tuesday, the Department of Defense announced it would not be backing Republican Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama in his legal defense.
The suit is regarding accusations that Brooks helped to foment the attacks on the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.
Lawyers for the DOJ filed a court brief saying they were declining to certify Brook’s defense. He has said he acted within his official duties as a Congress member when he spoke at the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally to Trump supporters before they stormed the Capitol building.
According to the filing:
“The record indicates that Brooks’ 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.”
Brooks, though, has said his actions do indeed fall within his responsibilities as a government employee. Because of that, he should be protected from civil lawsuits.
In a court filing earlier in July, he wrote:
“In sum and substance, Brooks drafted, practiced and gave his Ellipse Rally Speech at the request of the White House and pursuant to Brooks’ duties and job as a congressman concerning presidential election dispute resolution obligations imposed on Congress by the U.S. Constitution.”
The lawsuit in question was filed by California Representative Eric Swalwell earlier in the year. It names Brooks, former President Donald Trump and the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani as defendants. The suit accuses the trio of inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol building with what they said at the rally.
Brooks was hoping the DOJ would’ve agreed with his arguments, because it would’ve meant that he was immune from that lawsuit. Unfortunately for the Alabama representative, that didn’t happen.
The DOJ rejected the congressman’s arguments roundly when they wrote:
“Indeed, although the scope of employment related to the duties of a Member of Congress is undoubtedly broad and there are some activities that cannot be neatly cleaved into official and personal categories, Brooks’ request for certification and substitution of the United States for campaign-related conduct appears to be unprecedented.
“And in a variety of contexts involving state and local elected officials, courts have routinely rejected claims that campaigning and electioneering activities fall within the scope of official employment.”
The DOJ’s response also had a heading that was labeled: “Instigating an attack on the United States Capitol would not be within the scope of a Member of Congress’ employment.”
Many people were surprised with the DOJ’s decision on Tuesday. Part of the reason is because Merrick Garland, the attorney general has continued to protect Trump from a defamation lawsuit that was filed by E. Jean Carroll. That was seen as a move that signaled the DOJ would apply broad immunity to government officials from various civil suits.
The DOJ, though, ultimately decided Brooks was not acting as a government official but rather a politician who was trying to gain influence in potential future elections.