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Judge dismisses Mo Brooks from federal lawsuit over Jan. 6 Capitol attack

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta on Wednesday ruled that Brook’s speech outside the U.S. Capitol prior to the attack was protected by the First Amendment.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama., speaks Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, at a rally in support of President Donald Trump called the "Save America Rally." (AP PHOTO/JACQUELYN MARTIN)

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta on Wednesday dismissed Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, from a lawsuit over the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Mehta’s decision was expected. The judge in a previous ruling wrote that he was inclined to dismiss Brooks from the case, which was brought by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California. 

Brooks at the rally on Jan. 6 told the crowd that “today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” 

Mehta in his Wednesday ruling wrote that Brook’s Jan. 6 speech was protected by the First Amendment. The judge denied as moot Brook’s request that the judge rule that Brooks was acting in his official capacity by giving the speech, however. 

“The allegations against Brooks do not support a plausible inference that ‘he was advocating … any action’ or that ‘his words were intended to produce, and likely to produce, imminent disorder,’” Mehta wrote.

The judge previously dismissed Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr. from the case. Swalwell’s lawsuit alleges the Jan. 6 attack violated anti-terrorism laws and caused emotional distress. 

Mehta is allowing Swalwell’s lawsuit against former President Donald Trump to move forward, however.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.


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