Far-right Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama, like many of his Republican colleagues in Congress, embraced former President Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 election was somehow stolen by Democrats engaging in widespread election fraud.
This smear campaign culminated in a violent crescendo on January 6, when a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
Just before this insurrection, Trump held a "Save America" rally on the ellipse of the White House before instructing his supporters to march to the Capitol and make their voices heard.
Brooks was one of the rally's speakers and later admitted that he'd worn a bulletproof vest during his speech, where he told the crowd:
Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!"
There's been increased scrutiny of far-right members of Congress like Brooks and the roles they may have played in planning the Save America rally that eventually led to the deadly siege of the Capitol. A recent Rolling Stone report claimed that Brooks played an intimate part in planning the rally—a report that he's now denied.
Brooks said in his response, however, that his staff may have played a role:
"I don't know if my staff did.. but if they did I'd be proud of them for helping to put together a rally lawful under the First Amendment at the ellipse to protest voter fraud & election theft."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brooks denied his own involvement but praised reports that his staff may have been involved, all while continuing to peddle the same "election theft" lies that incited the riot.
People didn't hesitate to call him out.
They hadn't forgotten his bulletproof vest either.
It's possible the House Select Committee investigating the riot could uncover more details about Brooks' and other members of Congress' roles in the events leading up to the insurrection.