Republican Congressman Mo Brooks has apparently gone into hiding in a bizarre and curious attempt to avoid being served with a subpoena in a lawsuit filed by fellow Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat, over the Jan. 6 failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Brooks helped plan the insurrection, according to an activist and numerous news reports — an allegation he denies — appearing at a rally on the morning of Jan. 6, where former President Donald Trump also stoked the crowd. Brooks told the crowd that morning that “today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” He also encouraged them to fight.
Swalwell has filed suit against Brooks and three others, claiming that their numerous lies and encouragement to overturn the 2020 election results directly led to the ugly riot and looting that took place inside the Capitol. Lawmakers and their staffs were trapped in the House chambers for several minutes, as police officers barricaded the doors. At one point, there was gunfire inside the Capitol.
Swalwell’s lawsuit claims that the incident violated anti-terrorism laws and caused emotional distress.
The other defendants — Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani — have all waived service of the subpoena and instead acknowledged through their attorneys that they were aware of the lawsuit and their requirements to appear. But not Brooks.
A recent filing asking for another 60 days to serve Brooks — a request that federal Judge Amit Mehta granted on Wednesday — detailed Swalwell’s legal team’s troubles locating Brooks, including through his staff, by email and by phone.
“Counsel spoke to two different staff members on two separate occasions, and each time was promised a return call that never came,” the filing read.
Swalwell’s legal team even hired a private investigator to locate Brooks “in many different jurisdictions,” but recent security measures implemented in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot hampered that effort.
The other defendants in the case have already filed answers in the suit, claiming that they can’t be held accountable. Mehta is set to take up the motions to dismiss in July. If the suit moves forward, the next step would be the production of documents and records, which could shed significant light on just how involved, if at all, Brooks, the Trumps and Giuliani were in planning and helping to execute the insurrection attempt.