OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
California Rep. Eric Swalwell has served Republican Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks with a lawsuit days after attorneys with Swalwell said they could not find Rep. Brooks to serve him. But, according to Brooks, Swalwell’s team broke the law when he was served.
The lawsuit brought by Swalwell accuses Brooks, Donald Trump, and other Republicans of provoking the happenings of January 6 at the Capitol, CNN reported.
“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE). HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Brooks said on Twitter along with a photo of his computer screen to show the criminal statute.
.@EricSwalwell Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE).
HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!
Alabama Code 13A-7-2: 1st degree criminal trespass. Year in jail. $6000 fine.
More to come! pic.twitter.com/XSrFnezDlC
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) June 6, 2021
“[email protected] team committed Criminal Trespass INSIDE Mo Brooks’ home. #CNN. Swalwell attorney Phillip Andonian denies agent’s crime. Agent’s video is PROOF! Release it! Experts to download home security video tomorrow. Arrest warrant to be sought,” he said.
Swalwell attorney Phillip Andonian denies agent’s crime. Agent’s video is PROOF! Release it!
Experts to download home security video tomorrow.
Arrest warrant to be sought.https://t.co/jkdPhQKK3M
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) June 7, 2021
The photo also appeared to show a pin and his email password taped to his computer screen.
The Swalwell legal team has not formally notified the court that Brooks has been served, but that likely will be coming soon. The process server will have to provide a sworn affidavit to the court, as is typical in this procedural phase of a lawsuit. Serving the papers is important because it starts a clock in court for Brooks, the defendant, to respond to Swalwell’s accusations, which seek to hold him, ex-President Donald Trump and others liable for the January 6 attack on Congress.
If Brooks doesn’t believe he was properly served, he will have the opportunity to contest it in court.
Philip Andonian, one of the attorneys for Rep. Swalwell, denied that his team broke any laws when serving Rep. Brooks.
“No one entered or even attempted to enter the Brooks’ house. That allegation is completely untrue. A process server lawfully served the papers on Mo Brooks’ wife, as the federal rules allow,” he said to CNN. “This was after her initial efforts to avoid service. Mo Brooks has no one but himself to blame for the fact that it came to this. We asked him to waive service, we offered to meet him at a place of his choosing. Instead of working things out like a civilized person, he engaged in a juvenile game of Twitter trolling over the past few days and continued to evade service. He demanded that we serve him. We did just that. The important thing is the complaint has been served and Mo Brooks can now be held accountable for his role in inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.”
The lawsuit accuses Brooks, along with Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani broke various laws, including an anti-terrorism law, inciting a riot, aiding and abetting rioters and causing emotional distress for members of Congress.
Swalwell had previously claimed that Brooks was avoiding being served with the lawsuit and that he had to hire a private investigator to find the man he sees on a near-daily basis in the House.
“Neither Brooks nor any member of his staff has responded to his request,” the Swalwell team court filing said.
“Plaintiff had to engage the services of a private investigator to attempt to serve Brooks personally — a difficult feat under normal circumstances that have been complicated further in the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol that Defendants incited,” it said. “Plaintiff’s investigator has spent many hours over many days in April and May at locations in multiple jurisdictions attempting to locate and serve Brooks, to no avail.”
Andonian appeared on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” and vowed that they would continue to attempt to locate Brooks.
“The problem here is that Mo Brooks’ door is under lock and key … There was just no access to the primary place that he was for much of the day,” he said. “It just takes persistence and luck sometimes. We’re not claiming Brooks is hiding in a bunker somewhere. But it takes a lot of effort.”
Apparently, they did find and serve him.
But now we will have to see if they broke the law when they did it.