Eric Swalwell's battle against Mo Brooks takes an unexpected turn as judge asks the House general counsel to weigh in
Rep. Mo Brooks. (CSPAN screenshot)

On Monday, Roll Call reported that the House general counsel could soon weigh in on a demand by pro-Trump Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) that he should be immune from a lawsuit by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) over his role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"Swalwell filed a lawsuit in March that accuses Brooks, former President Donald Trump and others of directly inciting the attack at the Capitol Building. It describes how Brooks promoted and spoke at the rally near the Washington Monument that preceded the attack," reported Todd Ruger. "Brooks has argued that the court should remove him as a defendant from the lawsuit because he was acting within the scope of his employment as a member of Congress — a legal protection House members and staff traditionally rely on to do their jobs."

"Now, a federal judge has asked the House General Counsel's Office to weigh in on that part of the unusual member vs. member litigation, which already has generated inflammatory rhetoric on even typically routine issues such as finding Brooks to serve him with the lawsuit," said the report. "The office, under control of the Democrats because they have a majority, provides legal advice and assistance for members of both parties on a day-to-day basis. So far it has stayed out of the Swalwell-Brooks fray."

For weeks, Brooks, who is running for Alabama's open Senate seat, evaded being served with papers in Swalwell's lawsuit. When he finally was, he tried to claim the efforts to track him down were illegal.

Brooks was one of the most prominent sitting members of Congress who spoke at the "Save America" rally that immediately preceded the Capitol riot. GPS data from right-wing social network Parler revealed that many rioters converged on the Capitol from the National Mall where the pro-Trump rally was taking place.

At that rally, Brooks told pro-Trump crowds that it was time for "taking names and kicking ass" — which he now denies was intended to advocate violence in any way.