Last week, Rep. Mo Brooks was joking about avoiding being served with a lawsuit implicating him in the Capitol riot, but he’s not laughing now.
The Alabama Republican congressman who led the effort to overturn the presidential election in January was finally served with a lawsuit brought by House Democratic Rep. (and former presidential candidate) Eric Swalwell over the weekend. Brooks confirmed that the lawsuit had been served with a tweet alleging that the private investigator hired by Swalwell had broken the law to do so.
“HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Brooks tweeted at Swalwell. “Alabama Code 13A-7-2: 1st degree criminal trespass. Year in jail. $6000 fine.”
The tweet included a picture of the Alabama criminal code website, which—as users on Twitter noted—included a note on the computer used with a PIN number and what appeared to be a Gmail password. Brooks deleted the tweet on his campaign account and reposted it with the note cropped out, but the one posted to his official Congressional account remains up nearly a full day later. Brooks serves on a subcommittee overseeing Pentagon cybersecurity.
Brooks, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump in a bid for Senate next year, also claimed there was home security footage of the incident where Brooks’ wife was served with the lawsuit, as well as video taken by Swalwell’s private investigator.
“Experts to download home security video tomorrow,” Brooks tweeted Sunday night. “Arrest warrant to be sought.”
Swalwell and Brooks have voted together many times since the lawsuit against Brooks and others—including former President Donald Trump—was filed in March. But in a court filing requesting more time to serve Brooks last week, Swalwell’s attorney said that Brooks’ office had said on multiple occasions that he intended to waive his right to be served with the lawsuit in person, but had failed to formally do so. Swalwell’s attorney also said in the filing that Swalwell’s investigator “has spent many hours over many days in April and May at locations in multiple jurisdictions attempting to locate and serve Brooks, to no avail.”
Swalwell’s lawyer forcefully denied that Swalwell’s investigator broke the law in the attempt to serve Brooks.
"No one entered or even attempted to enter the Brooks' house. That allegation is completely untrue,” Swalwell’s lawyer Philip Adonian said in a statement to VICE News. “A process server lawfully served the papers on Mo Brooks' wife, as the federal rules allow. This was after her initial efforts to avoid service.”
Adonian also said the fact that Swalwell and Brooks both work on the House floor together ultimately didn’t matter, as Swalwell couldn’t have personally served Brooks with the lawsuit.
“Given the concerns about utilizing staffers to serve papers in a personal lawsuit, we really had no choice but to find Rep. Brooks outside of the House,” he told VICE News in an email. He added that the Capitol was locked down after the January 6 riot.
More than 450 people have been charged in connection with the January 6 riot, which halted the certification of President Joe Biden’s election win for several hours and resulted in Trump’s second impeachment by the House after he left office. Five people died during or after the riot.
“Mo Brooks has no one but himself to blame for the fact that it came to this,” Adonian told CNN. “He demanded that we serve him. We did just that. The important thing is the complaint has been served and Mo Brooks can now be held accountable for his role in inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol."
This article has been updated throughout to reflect recent developments.