DOJ declines to defend Republican lawmaker in Swalwell’s lawsuit accusing him of inciting Capitol riot
Cole Crystal, DCNF
The Department of Justice declined to defend Republican Rep. Mo Brooks in a lawsuit alleging that he conspired to incite the riots that occurred at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, according to a Tuesday court filing.
Brooks, who is one of several Republicans targeted by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell’s lawsuit, had argued that the Westfall Act would compel the department to protect federal elected officials in issues pertaining to their work, according to the filing.
“Members of Congress are subject to a host of restrictions that carefully distinguish between their official functions, on the one hand, and campaign functions, on the other,” the department wrote in response to Brooks.
“Inciting or conspiring to foment a violent attack on the United States Congress is not within the scope of employment of a Representative – or any federal employee – and thus is not the sort of conduct for which the United States is properly substituted as a defendant under the Westfall Act,” it said.
Swalwell retweeted some who commented positively on the news about the department’s decision to not support Brooks.
— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) July 28, 2021
The Justice Department may also decide whether or not to defend former President Donald Trump, who was also named as a defendant in the Swalwell suit, according to Reuters.
The department pointed out that since Brooks was present for the rally in which Donald Trump told followers to stop the certification of electors, he was participating in a campaign event and should not be protected under the act.