Could Turncoat Brooks Be Damaging To Trump?
Mo Brooks has turned on President Trump, and some believe it may give the Jan. 6 witch hunt committee the ammunition it needs to build its case against the former Commander-in-Chief.
The Republican Representative from Alabama has been a staunch Trump supporter. However, Brooks’ sudden turn against former President Trump was an unexpected gift for the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, and it may help bolster its investigation and the case it has started to lay out against Trump.
Brooks stunned investigators with his admission that the former president had urged him to overturn the 2020 election even during the months after President Biden took office. Brooks apparently rolling Trump under the bus could add to the committee’s effort to show that Trump engaged in criminal conduct while trying to remain in power.
Brooks turned on the former President when Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks, who is running for an open Senate seat in this year’s Republican primary. In response, the congressman made the extraordinary claim that the former president had been pressuring him to “rescind” the 2020 election even after the White House had changed hands.
“President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency,” Brooks said in a statement on Wednesday. “As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the US Constitution nor the US Code permit what President Trump asks. Period.”
In later comments to various news outlets, Brooks said that Trump made such requests as recently as September of last year. The revelation adds a new dimension to the fallout from the Capitol riot, indicating what many believed, that Trump continued his efforts to overturn the election long after he had left office.
Experts say that any effort to undo the election at that point could not be considered lawful under any circumstances.
“There is no way to overturn the election today. And a special election — I mean, it’s not in the statutes. It’s not in the Constitution. I don’t know where that would come from,” said Neil Eggleston, who served as White House counsel under former President Obama and as an investigator on the House select committee probing the Iran-Contra scandal.
“As I think Mr. Brooks said he told the president, the matter was over on Jan. 6, when Congress certified the election,” Eggleston said. “In my view, it was over in December when all the states reported their electors, and what happened on January 6 was a formality. But at the very latest, it ended on Jan. 6.”
It’s unclear whether the select committee will pursue Brooks’ claims in its investigation. A spokesman for the panel did not respond when asked for comment by The Hill, Fox, and CNN.
Brooks’ statements marked the first time one of Trump’s allies has “turned” and accused the former president of urging illegal actions in order to restore his presidency.
On Jan. 6 and in the weeks leading up to it, Brooks supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. As Congress was certifying the election results hours after the riot had ended, Brooks tried to raise objections to derail the process.
And in the hours before the insurrection, Brooks spoke to Trump supporters at the “Stop the Steal” rally, wearing body armor and exhorting the crowd to fight to undermine efforts to certify Biden’s win.
“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” he said in his remarks.