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Rep. Mo Brooks's latest Jan. 6 remarks are just icing on the disgraceful cake

The Republican congressman said he didn’t plan the pro-Trump gathering that preceded the Capitol riot — but he’d be “proud” if his staff did.

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks was quick to throw his staff under the bus after he was accused in a report this week of helping to plan the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The story, published by Rolling Stone on Sunday, alleged Brooks was one of several members of Congress to coordinate with rally organizers before the event. The report’s allegations have not been confirmed by MSNBC or NBC News. 

Few if any Republicans have been more committed to spreading Trump’s "big lie" than Brooks.

But whether the report is true or not, Brooks’s comical response is a reminder that the congressman from Alabama should have been kicked out of office months ago. Because while the details of exactly what he knew and how much he may have personally contributed to the planning of the Jan. 6 violence remain murky, his participation in the rally itself, as well as his stalwart defense and promotion of former President Donald Trump's election fraud lies, should be disqualifying on their own. Brooks's responses to the most recent allegations are just icing on the disgraceful cake.

During a phone interview with AL.com on Monday, Brooks claimed he had “no intentions” of participating in the Jan. 6 rally until the White House asked him a day earlier to speak at it. He denied that he or his top staffers had been involved in the event’s planning.

But Brooks softened his denial in a subsequent interview, telling CNN on Monday that he wasn’t sure whether any of his staff members had coordinated with rally organizers. If they were involved, Brooks added, he’d be “proud of them for helping put together a rally” meant to protest “election theft.”

Rep. Mo Brooks conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on the Fire Fauci Act, which aims to strip the salary of Dr. Anthony Fauci.Tom Williams / Getty Images; MSNBC

Brooks, who reportedly wore body armor during his speech at the Jan. 6 rally, has been one of the most outspoken voices pushing Trump’s election fraud lies. Just last month, he claimed in an interview that Trump would have won the 2020 election “if only lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens were counted.” 

His incendiary speech at the Jan. 6 rally, in which he called on “American patriots to start taking down names and kicking ass,” drew widespread condemnation from Democrats. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., sued Brooks, Trump and longtime Trump associate Rudy Giuliani earlier this year for incitement and civil rights violations stemming from their speeches at the rally.

Brooks is seeking immunity in the case, claiming he had been acting within the scope of his employment as a member of the House.

Few if any Republicans have been more committed to spreading Trump’s "big lie" than Brooks — and his recent attempt to pass the buck to his staff only serves as a distraction.

It is, of course, vitally important to figure out who in Congress may have incited the Capitol riot. But lawmakers like Brooks, who continue to sow distrust in our democracy with their election fraud lies, have already given us more than enough proof to disqualify them from office.

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