In this file photo dated January 6, 2021, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ark., Speaks in Washington at a rally in support of President Donald Trump known as the “Save America Rally”.
Jacquelyn Martin | AP
Republican MP Mo Brooks responded Thursday to a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of numerous buildings on Capitol Hill by saying he understood “civil anger against dictatorial socialism”.
The statement quickly drew heavy criticism of Brooks, who voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s election and is facing a lawsuit from California Democratic MP Eric Swalwell accusing him of contributing to the deadly invasion of the Capitol on January 6 to have.
“Tell us you’re on the terrorist’s side without telling us you’re on the terrorist’s side,” Swalwell wrote on Twitter in response to Brooks’ testimony.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, described Brooks’ testimony in a Twitter post as “nasty”. Kinzinger was one of the few Republicans who voted for the impeachment of former President Donald Trump for invading the Capitol.
49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry, the alleged bomb threat, surrendered and was taken into custody by police outside the Library of Congress after an hour-long standoff where he claimed to have explosives in his truck.
In social media videos posted on Facebook, Roseberry repeatedly referred to a “revolution” and asked Biden to send someone to speak to him.
Brooks said in his statement that “although the motivations of this terrorist are not yet publicly known … in general I understand the anger of citizens directed at dictatorial socialism and its threats to liberty, liberty and the fabric of American society . “
He added that the way to stop socialism is to have “patriotic Americans” fight back in the coming election cycles.
“I strongly encourage patriotic Americans to do just that, more than ever. Frankly, America’s future is in jeopardy,” said Brooks.
Brooks, a member of the Alabama House of Representatives who has been running for the Senate since 2011, had negotiated with Trump in late 2020 about ways to overturn Biden’s election victory in the electoral college.
On January 6, when Congress was due to meet in the Capitol to confirm Biden’s victory, Brooks spoke nearby at a Trump-organized rally calling on Republicans to reject the election results.
At the “Stop the Steal” rally, Brooks urged a crowd of Trump supporters to “start by name and kick the ass”. Trump, in his own speech, urged the crowd to march to the Capitol: “If you don’t fight like hell, you will have no more land,” he said.
Shortly after Congress convened to confirm Biden’s victory, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, derailed the process and forced lawmakers to flee their chambers and go into hiding. Since then, more than 500 arrests have been made in connection with the Capitol Rebellion.
In March, Swalwell filed a civil lawsuit against Brooks and Trump, as well as Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing them of “being wholly responsible for the injuries and destruction caused by the mob.”
Brooks has asked a judge to dismiss him as a defendant on the lawsuit, partially saying that his speech at the January 6 rally was given as part of his membership in Congress.
Thursday’s bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Library of Congress as well as the Supreme Court, the Cannon House office building and the offices of the Republican National Committee. Congress was on hiatus so there were fewer people on the hill.
Police negotiators began communicating with Roseberry, and snipers took up positions around the truck. He finally got out of his pickup truck, which was parked on the sidewalk in front of the government building, and surrendered without resistance, police said.
US Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said Roseberry appeared to have been grappling with the recent loss of family members as well as “other issues he has faced.”