Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, on Dec. 16 got a text message from far-right activist Ali Alexander, the man behind the Stop the Steal rally at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but Brooks’s spokesman 27 days later told APR the congressman had “no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is.”
That earlier denial came undone after Alexander supplied text messages, documents and testimony to the Jan. 6 Committee about his communications with Republican lawmakers ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Alexander discussed those communications in a lawsuit his attorney filed Friday in an attempt to prevent the committee from getting his full phone records.
Alexander in the complaint said he testified to the committee on Dec. 9 telling lawmakers he “had a few phone conversations” with Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona., texted Brooks and spoke to Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona.
Brooks on Saturday released the text he got from Alexander, in addition to lengthy comments appearing to attempt to downplay the significance of that communication, calling the text “100% benign.”
“Congressman, this is Ali Alexander. I am the founder of Stop the Steal, the protests happening in all 50 states,” Alexander wrote in the text, shared by Brooks. “We met years ago back in 2010, during the tea party when you were first elected. I texted the wrong number. I had intended to invite you to our giant Saturday prayer rally in DC, this past weekend. Also Gen. (Michael) Flynn should be giving you a ring. We stand ready to help. Jan 6th is a big moment in our republic.”
Brooks’s office, in comments included with the text shared Friday, said “Outside of this possible text message with someone who claimed to be “Ali Alexander”” Brooks has no recollection of any other communications involving Congressman Brooks and someone claiming to be Alexander “and after a search involving cell phone records and emails, Congressman Brooks has found no communications that purport to involve Congressman Brooks and anyone claiming to be “Ali Alexander”.
Asked by APR to clarify the January statement that Brooks had “no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is” Clay Mills, Brooks’s spokesman, in a message to APR on Sunday explained that Brooks simply forgot about the text from Alexander, sent 27 days prior to APR’s inquiry.
It was unclear Monday whether Brooks responded to Alexander’s December text, but the statement Sunday from his spokesman seems to indicate Brooks did, calling the communications a “text exchange”between Brooks and Alexander.
“The text exchange between Congressman Brooks and the 202 number claiming to be Ali Alexander was so innocuous and forgettable that Congressman Brooks did not recall it,” Mills said.
“As a Congressman, he gets many messages from unknown numbers. You’ll note that the previous statement you quoted said “no recollection” of communicating with Ali Alexander. That was true at the time. He didn’t recall the exchange. Congressman discovered the text since I made that statement,” Mills continued.
Days prior to the riot Alexander posted a video in which he named Brooks, Gosar and Biggs as helping him plan the Jan. 6 rally aimed at pressuring Congress as members counted electoral votes.
“So I want to let you guys know how we’re responding, because I was the person who came up with the January 6th idea, with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then-Congressman Andy Biggs,” Alexander said in the live stream video, which was archived by Jason Paladino, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight.
“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress, while they were voting, so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside,” Alexander said.
Brooks’s spokesman told APR in January that Brooks did not plan the Jan. 6 rally with Alexander. A Rolling Stone article cited two people who helped organize the rally and other demonstrations who said Brooks or his staff helped organize the Jan. 6 rally and a series of demonstrations in several states that occurred between the election and the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the capitol.
In response to the Rolling Stone article, Brooks told AL.com on Oct. 25 that he could not say whether his staff interacted with two Rolling Stone sources because he had not spoken to them about it.
“Quite frankly, I’d be proud of them if they did help organize a First Amendment rally to protest voter fraud and election theft,” Brooks said of his staff, AL.com reported.
Brooks gave a speech at that Jan. 6 rally near the Capitol in which he told the crowd it was time to start “taking down names and kicking ass.” Brooks was wearing body armor when he gave that speech.