U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, in a sworn affidavit, said he still believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.
In a federal court filing, Brooks also told the back story on his “kick ass” speech on Jan. 6 that preceded rioting at the U.S. Capitol and explained that he was doing his job in fighting election fraud and voter theft on behalf of his congressional constituents in north Alabama.
Those are among three takeaways from Brooks’ affidavit he filed June 24 in federal court in refuting the lawsuit brought against him by Democratic California Congressman Eric Swalwell. That defense also said that Brooks would not have given the speech at the rally if a White House official had not asked him the day before.
Brooks, a Republican from Huntsville, was named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit filed March 5 along with Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The affidavit was part of a 66-page filing from Brooks that, while dated June 24, was not filed by the court until July 2. It includes the full text of his Jan. 6 speech as well as the presidential election results in the five north Alabama counties that make up his congressional district that overwhelmingly supported Trump last November.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, in a series of orders this week, set a July 27 deadline for Swalwell to respond to Brooks’ petition for the case to be dismissed against him because he was acting in his role as a member of the House of Representatives. Also, the general counsel for the House of Representatives has the same deadline to respond to Brooks’ assertion that he was acting within the scope of his office. Brooks has an Aug. 10 deadline to respond to those responses.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most relevant and interesting aspects of the affidavit:
• Brooks still says election was stolen.
Time has not softened Brooks’ stance: Trump rightfully should be in the White House serving his second term in office. Despite that stance, there continues to be no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have affected the outcome of the election.
In the affidavit, Brooks incorrectly lists the date of the election as Dec. 3, 2020. The election occurred on Nov. 3, 2020.
“In my judgment, the evidence is overwhelming and compelling that the Dec. 3, 2020 elections were the most voter fraud and election theft riddled of any election in United States history,” Brooks said in the affidavit. Brooks does not elaborate on any of the “evidence” he referred to in his statement.
He later writes, “In my judgment and opinion, if only lawful votes were counted by eligible American citizens, then President Donald Trump would have been declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election contest.”
There has been no reason to suspect Brooks had changed his mind. Weeks before the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and subsequent congressional certification of the presidential election, Brooks was the first congressman to announce he would object to that certification. His steadfast support of Trump has also secured the former president’s endorsement of Brooks’ Senate campaign.
• What "kick ass" did and didn’t really mean.
In the affidavit, Brooks said he has given hundreds of speeches in his political career. This line — “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass” — is easily the most memorable line from any of those speeches.
In Swalwell’s lawsuit, the phrase “kicking ass” is mentioned on eight occasions.
“Brooks intended these words as a threat of violence or intimidation to block the certification vote from even occurring and/or to coerce members of Congress to disregard the results of the election,” according to Swalwell’s lawsuit.
The lawsuit also said that Brooks used those words, among others, “while knowing the propensity of some of Trump’s supporters to engage in political violence,” and those words were evidence that the lawsuit’s defendants “violated the Anti-Terrorism Act.”
In the affidavit, Brooks rejected Swalwell’s allegations, saying that he “lies and distorts” regarding the “kicking ass” line and, at another point, said Swalwell “errs by splicing one sentence and omitting the preceding sentence in a two-sentence paragraph that emphasizes I am talking about ‘kicking ass’ in the 2022 and 2024 ELECTIONS!” Brooks added with emphasis in his filing.
The full paragraph, as prepared by Brooks in the filing, that included the “kicking ass” phrase:
“But let’s be clear, regardless of today’s outcome, the 2022 and 2024 elections are right around the corner, and America does not need and cannot stand, cannot tolerate any more weakling, cowering, wimpy Republican congressmen and senators who covet the power and the prestige the swamp has to offer, while groveling at the feet and the knees of the special interest group masters. As such, today is important in another way, today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
Brooks then presented a nuanced explanation he first gave less than a week after he gave the speech. However, two days after the rally, Brooks initially said he used the word “ass” as a code word for Democrats — given that the party’s mascot is a donkey.
• Brooks described a meticulous process he used to prepare the speech.
In the affidavit, Brooks said, “My intent in uttering these words was to encourage the Ellipse Rally attendees to put the 2020 elections behind them (and, in particular, the preceding day’s two GOP Senator losses in Georgia) and to start focusing on the 2022 and 2024 elections."
“’As such’ is the key phrase in the second sentence because it emphasizes that the paragraph’s second sentence is in the context of the paragraph’s first sentence’s 2022 and 2024 election cycles (that began Nov. 4, 2020),” Brooks continued.
“Consistent with this is the middle part of the paragraph’s second sentence, which states, ‘taking down names.’ Whose names are to be ‘taken down?’ The names of those senators and congressmen who do not vote for honest and accurate elections after the House and Senate floor debates later that afternoon and evening. Once we get and ‘take down’ their names, our task is to ‘kick their ass’ in the 2022 and 2024 election cycles.”
In the affidavit, Brooks said he was asked to speak the day before the rally by a White House official — though not by Trump personally. He drafted the speech in his congressional office and “timed, reviewed and revised and practiced my speech in my office at the Rayburn House Office Building,” the affidavit said.
• Brooks is doing it for his north Alabama constituents.
His insistence that the election was stolen from Trump, the fiery speech he gave on Jan. 6 at the pro-Trump rally, his objecting to the presidential election results in the states of Arizona and Pennsylvania — Brooks did it for the people he represents, he says in the affidavit.
In the affidavit, Brooks listed the election results in the five counties he represents — Morgan, Limestone, Madison, Lauderdale and Jackson counties— which showed a collective 64% of the vote for Trump. The former president received a majority of the votes in all five counties.
“It is my judgment, based on various interactions and communications with them, that a majority or a plurality of Alabama 5th Congressional District citizens strong support my conduct concerning the few matters specifically and accurately alleged in Swalwell’s (lawsuit) about my efforts to only count lawful (votes) cast by eligible American citizens in the Nov. 3, 2020 election,” Brooks' affidavit said.