Shortly after a 49-year-old North Carolina man was taken into custody following a five-hour bomb-threat standoff with Capitol Police, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, issued a statement condemning the suspect while sympathizing with his motivations.
“Although this terrorist’s motivation is not yet publicly known, and generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society. The way to stop Socialism’s march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 election,” Brooks tweeted.
My statement on the Capitol bomb threat: pic.twitter.com/yCuTNTbJyP
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) August 19, 2021
In a Facebook Live video he streamed from inside his pickup truck, Floyd Ray Roseberry addressed President Joe Biden, saying he was willing to “die for the cause” and that Biden had a chance to stop it.
“We’re living in a free country, Joe. The choice is yours. If you want to shoot me and take the chance of blowing up two-and-a-half city blocks, ‘cause that tool box is full, ammonium nitrate is full. I don’t want to die, Joe. I want to go home, just like the people of Afghanistan want to go home. All them dead people are on your hands, too,” Roseberry said. Facebook ended the live stream soon thereafter.
Roseberry drove onto a sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress, where he communicated with officers by holding up hand-written signs until he was apprehended. In a release, Capitol Police said they did not find any explosive device in the truck and that they were working to determine how he would be charged.
The Charlotte Observer reported that the FBI is investigating whether Roseberry was involved in the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol. He has a history of mental health issues, his wife told NBC News, and a history of misdemeanor criminal offenses.
Brooks’ statement drew criticism from fellow lawmakers including Cori Bush, D-Missouri, who tweeted a reminder that she introduced a resolution to investigate and expel from Congress “insurrectionist members” like Brooks.
“We need to pass it. When we let white supremacists go unchecked, they’re only emboldened,” she said.
I introduced a resolution to investigate and expel insurrectionist members of Congress like Mo Brooks while in lockdown on January 6th.
We need to pass it. When we let white supremacists go unchecked, they’re only emboldened. pic.twitter.com/QWnKUyZ2Ww
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) August 20, 2021
At the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Jan. 6 attack, Brooks told that crowd that it was time to start “taking down names and kicking ass.” He later admitted that he was wearing body armor during the speech that many have sharply criticized for inciting his audience to violence.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, tweeted that Brooks has decided Republicans should “be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists.”
The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs. https://t.co/RwbvKVWSE7
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 19, 2021