Republican Brooks seeks immunity for Jan. 6 speech, says he was not campaigning

By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican MP Mo Brooks on Wednesday asked a federal judge to grant him immunity from a civil lawsuit alleging a speech he made on Jan. 6 to supporters of then-President Donald Trump had held, had helped instigate the attack on the Capitol.
In a series of court files, Brooks addressed a Justice Department decision published last week https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-justice-dept-wont-defend-republican-lawmaker-capitol-riot- Lawsuit-2021-07-28, which found that she was unable to defend the Alabama congressman for failing to act as a member of Congress when he spoke at the rally.
Brooks, along with Trump and several other defendants, is in a lawsuit brought by Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell before Judge Amit Mehta in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after the January 6 rally where Trump and others reiterated false claims that the election was tarnished by widespread fraud.
Brooks had previously asked the Justice Department to explain that he falls under the Westfall Act, which protects federal employees from being sued for acts related to their work.
The department declined, saying his speech was a campaign activity not covered by Westfall law, adding that inciting an attack on Congress "is not part of the employment of a representative - or a federal employee."
Brooks, who represents himself in the lawsuit, dismissed these results on Wednesday.
"Brooks was asked to give a speech on January 5, 2021 by a person who identified himself as a White House employee," he wrote about himself in the third person.
He added the event would not be viewed as a campaign rally, he was not paid off Trump's campaign, and spoke in part to the crowd about his duties as a U.S. Congressman to confirm the 2020 presidential election results.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Chris Reese)
In this article:
Mo Brooks
US representative from Alabama
Donald Trump
45th President of the United States
Eric Swalwell
American politician

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