DOJ and House lawyers will not represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a Capitol riots lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell

Mo Brooks
Mo Brooks

  • The US government will not represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a Capitol riot lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell.
  • The Office of the General Counsel for the House of Representatives said that it would not be appropriate to represent Brooks in this scenario.
  • The Department of Justice said that Brooks was not acting within the scope of his employment when he told protestors to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Office of the General Counsel for the House of Representatives said in a filing on Tuesday that it will not represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Swalwell alleged in his original complaint that Brooks helped “incite the violence at the Capitol” when he told Capitol protesters to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

Brooks said in a filing that he was acting within the scope of his employment when he gave his speech on January 6, a move that if successful would grant him a form of legal immunity via the Westfall Act.

General Counsel Douglas N. Letter wrote on Tuesday, however, that it would not be appropriate to represent Brooks in this lawsuit as the case does not challenge an “institutional action of the House or any of its component entities.”

The Department of Justice also denied Brooks’ claim on Tuesday that he was acting within the scope of his employment and requested that he not be granted immunity. The DOJ and House counsel’s filings are not binding and a judge could still say that Brooks was acting in the scope of his employment and receive immunity.

It took Swalwell several months to serve the original complaint against Brooks because Swalwell’s team could not locate the representative, though Brooks denied hiding from Swalwell.

Swalwell ultimately hired a private investigator to locate Brooks. The complaint was ultimately served to his wife at their home.

“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE). HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Brooks said in a tweet.

There are precedents to this decision

House counsel pointed to a previous legal spat between former House Minority Leader John Boehner and Rep. Jim McDermott where both parties used private attorneys.

McDermott obtained and leaked an illegal recording of a call between Boehner and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the press, leading to a lawsuit from Boehner. An appeals court ultimately awarded Boehner over $1 million in damages and said McDermott “unlawfully” obtained the recording in violation of his official duties.

Additionally, according to Ryan Goodman, the former special counsel to the general counsel of the Department of Defense, the DOJ filing also suggests that former President Donald Trump may also not be granted immunity via the Westfall Act.

The DOJ is currently defending Trump in a lawsuit from writer E. Jean Carroll who alleges the former president raped her.

The General Counsel’s full filing is below

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Rep. Eric Swalwell posted a heated text exchange with Tucker Carlson and said the Fox News host is ‘losing his mind that I won’t return his calls’

Close up photos of Eric Swalwell and Tucker Carlson side by side
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell shared screenshots showing a missed call and text exchange with Tucker Carlson.
  • The lawmaker declined to call the Fox News host, prompting Carlson to call him a “coward.”
  • Swalwell accused Carlson of telling lies about him and his family.
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Rep. Eric Swalwell took aim at Tucker Carlson on Twitter Friday, sharing a screenshot of a testy text exchange the two shared.

Swalwell, a Democrat from California, said he is refusing to return Carlson’s calls due to things the Fox News host has said about him and his family in the past.

“After years of lying about me and my family, @TuckerCarlson is losing his mind that I won’t return his calls. Sorry, Tucker, I’m just not that into you. Who knows what lie he’ll tell next? #TuckerTantrum,” Swalwell wrote.

Read more: Photos show shirtless Democratic congressmen and their wives riding camels on a Qatar trip paid for by a special interest group

He also shared two screen shots, one showing a missed call allegedly from Carlson and the text exchange. After Carlson texted Swalwell asking him to call him, Swalwell declined the request.

“Tucker, I’m hesitant to do that. You falsely smeared by wife on Tuesday and she’s getting death threats,” the congressman wrote. “Hit me all you like. But to go after her. That’s just wrong.”

Carlson’s response to that was brief: “Coward.”

A representative at Fox News did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Carlson ran a segment on Tuesday saying “Swalwell has a problem with money.” During the segment he said “more than $20,000.00 of Eric Swalwell’s campaign expenditures went to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, California. Now, weirdly or maybe not so weirdly, Eric Swalwell’s wife is an executive at that very hotel.”

Swalwell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Carlson also discussed Swalwell’s connection to a Chinese spy on the Tuesday segment. Axios reported in December that a Chinese spy had gotten close with Swalwell before he was informed by the FBI who she was and that he was being targeted in 2014.

Swalwell cut ties with the woman and was not accused of any wrongdoing. Carlson has independently alleged on his program that Swalwell had a sexual relationship with the woman, citing original reporting. Swalwell did not respond to the accusation when Insider reached out at the time.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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Rep. Eric Swalwell says that Trump ‘achieved brilliant success’ in getting smart people ‘to overthink how to handle him’

Eric Swalwell
Representative Eric Swalwell of California.

  • Rep. Swalwell said that Trump was great at getting smart people to “overthink how to handle him.”
  • In his new book, Swalwell says that Trump’s political acumen allowed him to distract the public.
  • “The Ukraine shakedown scheme pierced through the fog,” the congressman wrote.
  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who served as a House impeachment manager in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, said that the former president was masterful in pushing “very smart people” to “overthink how to handle him.”

In his new book, “Endgame: Inside the Impeachments of Donald J. Trump,” Swalwell details how the Ukraine scandal was a key turning point in Trump’s seeming inability to move past most political controversies.

Before Trump was eventually impeached for the first time over his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate political rival and now-President Joe Biden, Swalwell said that the former president’s litany of distractions “avoided letting the public focus on one clear outrage for long.”

“The Ukraine shakedown scheme pierced through the fog,” he wrote. “Finally, we’d cut to Gordian knot of endless overthinking on our side. The overthinkers, trying to jump four steps ahead in a game of chess, worried that impeaching Trump could give him fodder to enflame his base and be a net political win for him.”

He emphasized: “All that worry was paralyzing.”

Read More: A key fundraising group for Republican women is shunning Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, calling them ‘carnival barkers’

Swalwell continued with his analysis of Trump, articulating that the former president’s biggest critics often made decisions that helped him.

“Trump had achieved brilliant success in getting even very smart people to overthink how to handle him, to tie themselves up in confusion to the point where they made choices that ultimately benefited him,” he wrote. “Think back to the 2016 election. Trump kept insisting the election would be ‘rigged.’ He said this again and again and again, all the while knowing that the Russians were actually truing to rig the election in his favor.”

He added: “President Obama overthought the situation, loath to play into Trump’s hand and lend indirect support to his wild claims of election issues. The end result was that the Obama administration never came down hard on the Russians or even alerted the public to what was going on. Trump benefited.”

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Rep. Eric Swalwell says GOP opponents of the Jan. 6 commission aren’t ‘standing up for the cops that protected them’

Eric Swalwell
Representative Eric Swalwell of California.

  • Rep. Eric Swalwell criticized GOP opponents of a bill that would create a January 6 commission.
  • He said that Republicans are “blowing it” and not “standing up” for the cops that protected them.
  • Swalwell was hopeful that the bill could clear the Senate, despite opposition from Mitch McConnell.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California criticized the overwhelming GOP opposition to a bipartisan January 6 commission in a recent podcast interview with The Daily Beast, saying that the party is “completely blowing it.”

During an episode of “The New Abnormal” featuring editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast, Swalwell mocked the Republican Party’s approach to handling the bill, which Democrats modified in order to secure GOP support for investigating the deadly Capitol insurrection.

“Go negotiate this deal. Get everything we want, bring it back, and then let’s reject it,” Swalwell said of the strategy of GOP leadership. “That’s a hell of a game plan. If this is any preview of how they would govern, I think it’s good reason not to let them anywhere close to a [House] majority.”

Swalwell lauded Democratic attempts to enact policing reforms and seek answers regarding the safety of the officers who protect lawmakers at the Capitol complex.

“When you look at law and order, you’re starting to see a party that can hold the cops accountable when they make mistakes and put reforms in place, but also a party that can stand by them when they act honorably,” he said. “Here, you see they’re [Republicans are] completely blowing it and walking away when it comes to standing up for the cops that protected them.”

He added: “There are Republican colleagues of mine who I think look these officers in the eyes, recognize that these are the people who take care us, and this is the one opportunity to show them that you’re taking care of them and saying a meaningful thank you to them.”

Read more: Exclusive: Secretary Pete takes viewers inside the DOT in the Biden administration’s weekly address as he sells the American Jobs Plan

Swalwell said that a few Republicans are starting to envision their party without the influence of former President Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House for his role in the riot and is highly critical of the legislation.

While the House passed the bill to establish the commission in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining every Democrat to back the legislation, Swalwell pointed out that most of the GOP still shunned it.

“We’re talking about 80%t went the other way, right?,” he said. “So I don’t give them too much credit. I was heartened to see 35 of them.”

Swalwell also said that he was surprised that 7 Republicans joined 50 Democrats to find guilty Trump of incitement of insurrection in his second Senate impeachment trial.

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky came out against the bill last week, imperiling its chances to overcome a filibuster, Swalwell is still hoping for some GOP support in the upper chamber.

“I would hope that the seven that voted to remove Donald Trump for causing the insurrection would at least want to understand what an independent commission said about the insurrection,” he said. “Almost every recommendation from the September 11 Commission was put into place so that we would be safer. And so if we can’t do that [for January 6], who’s to say that this couldn’t happen again?”

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GOP Rep. Mo Brooks is dodging Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell’s attempts to serve him with a lawsuit over the Capitol riot, attorney says

eric swalwell
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) attends a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on June 24, 2020.

  • Rep. Eric Swalwell is accusing a GOP congressman of evading being served with a lawsuit.
  • Swalwell is suing Rep. Mo Brooks and others for inciting the January 6 insurrection.
  • Swalwell’s attorney told Punchbowl News that Brooks’ avoidance is holding up the lawsuit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Democratic congressman is accusing GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of ducking being served with a lawsuit over his role in the January 6 Capitol riots, Punchbowl News first reported on Friday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who served as an impeachment manager in the Senate trial for former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, is suing Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Brooks, and Rudy Giuliani for inciting the insurrection.

Swalwell’s attorney Phillip Andonian told Punchbowl that they even hired a private investigator to try to pin down Brooks to serve him with the suit, but to no avail.

“We have been attempting to serve our complaint on Mo Brooks for more than a month,” Andonian told Punchbowl News. “I talked to staffers in his D.C. office who promised a response from someone, which never came. I sent the complaint and a waiver of service form in a detailed email to his chief of staff and counsel, which to date remains unanswered.”

Read more: Maj. Gen. William Walker sent help during the Capitol insurrection. Now in a new history-making role, he holds the key to keeping Congress safe and reopening it to the public.

Brooks was one of the most vocal House Republicans pushing false and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the wake of the 2020 election, and helped lead the objection to Electoral College votes from states that voted for President Joe Biden.

“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks told the crowd at a rally right before the riot.

However, Brooks denies that his conduct played any role in the riots. He has received Trump’s endorsement for the GOP nomination in the open race to replace longtime Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, who is retiring in 2022.

Andonian said that since the other defendants have agreed to waive service, Brooks’ refusal to be served is holding up the lawsuit from moving forward.

“It seems clear that Brooks is choosing to make a political stunt out of a part of the process that essentially is a formality, which is unfortunate. Although not surprising,” he told Punchbowl.

Brooks isn’t the only Trump ally accused of dodging being served with a suit surrounding the 2020 election.

Dominion Voting Systems said in a court filing that conspiracy-wielding lawyer Sidney Powell, who they are suing for defamation, dodged being served with their lawsuit for weeks, forcing them to hire private investigators and pursue her across state lines.

Dominion is suing Powell and other high-profile figures for publicly accusing Dominions’ voting technology of being involved in a conspiracy to steal the election from Trump. The company is seeking billions of dollars in damages.

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Trump sued for ‘incitement to riot’ and terrorism over Capitol attack by House Democrat who served as impeachment manager

capitol siege riot ladder
Rioters clash with police using big ladder trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors.

  • Rep. Eric Swalwell filed a lawsuit against Trump and his allies over the Capitol attack.
  • The suit accuses the defendants of incitement to riot, among other charges. 
  • Swalwell alleges that Trump and his allies caused severe emotional distress to Congress.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, a former House impeachment manager, on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and a number of his close allies – Donald Trump Jr., Rudolph W. Giuliani, and GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama – over the Capitol attack. 

The suit accuses Trump and his allies of “incitement to riot,” and alleges that they violated an anti-terrorism act in Washington, DC, among other charges.

“As a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants’ false and incendiary allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to the Defendants’ express calls for violence at the rally, a violent mob attacked the US Capitol,” the suit stated. “Many participants in the attack have since revealed that they were acting on what they believed to be former president Trump’s orders in service of their country.”

“The horrific events of January 6 were a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants’ unlawful actions. As such, the Defendants are responsible for the injury and destruction that followed,” the suit went on to say. “Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed and then watched approvingly as the building was overrun.”

Swalwell accuses the defendants of inflicting severe emotional distress on members of Congress, and states that they aided and abetted violent insurrectionists. The suit outlines how Trump and his allies stoked the riot with false claims about the election being “stolen.”

“The Defendants, in short, convinced the mob that something was occurring that – if actually true – might indeed justify violence to some, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action,” the suit said. 

eric swalwell trump impeachment

Swalwell’s suit is the second major lawsuit filed in a federal court by a House Democrat against Trump and people close to him in relation to the Capitol riot. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi in February filed a suit that alleged Trump and Giuliani conspired with far-right groups to incite the Capitol insurrection.

Trump was impeached over the Capitol attack in mid-January, but was acquitted in the Senate last month. Swalwell was an impeachment manager in Trump’s second impeachment proceedings over the January 6 riot. After Trump was acquitted, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the former president could still be held accountable by the criminal justice system or face “civil litigation.” Swalwell’s suit cited these remarks from McConnell.

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The former president, Trump Jr., and Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.

But Trump spokesperson Jason Miller in response to the suit told the Washington Post, “Eric Swalwell is a low-life with no credibility.” 

Brooks denounced Swalwell and the lawsuit in a statement provided to Insider by his office.

“Socialist Eric Swalwell’s frivolous lawsuit is a meritless ploy by a man who betrayed his county by bedding a Communist Chinese spy while serving on the Intelligence Committee that hears America’s highest classified security secrets,” Brooks said. “I make no apologies whatsoever for fighting for accurate and honest elections. In sum, I wear Communist-sympathizer Swalwell’s scurrilous and malicious lawsuit like a badge of courage.”

“Under no circumstances will Swalwell, or any other Socialist, stop me from fighting for America,” Brooks added. 

Swalwell does not identify as a socialist, nor is he widely considered to be among the more left-leaning Democrats in Congress.  

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