It’s been a tumultuous 24 hours for Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
On Sunday, Brooks reported that he’d finally been served with a lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) in federal court back in March. The suit also names former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Guliani for allegedly inciting the January 6 insurrection and breaking laws in the process.
Swalwell’s lawyers had had such difficulty in serving Brooks with the papers that they actually hired a private investigator to hunt him down, they said in court filings.
“Given Brooks’ refusal to waive service, Plaintiff had to engage the services of a private investigator to attempt to serve Brooks personally — a difficult feat under normal circumstances that has been complicated further in the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol that Defendants incited,” Swalwell’s lawyers wrote.
Brooks has spent weeks trolling Swalwell on Twitter, taunting him about his team’s inability to find Brooks and serve him with papers. In one tweet, a Brooks fan tagged Swalwell in the caption of a picture of her and Brooks. “I found him! So did hundreds of other Alabamians at Lake Guntersville,” she wrote. “Do you want me to hold him for you- since you can’t find him and stuff?” Brooks retweeted it.
Swalwell’s team also provided emails to the court showing that they’d been in touch with Brooks’ staffers about getting him the lawsuit, but say they were stonewalled. They asked the judge for an extension on the period in which they needed to serve the papers last week.
This weekend, they were finally successful. One of Swalwell’s lawyers, Phil Andonian, told TPM that a process server delivered the lawsuit to Brooks’ wife in Alabama.
Brooks took to Twitter, claiming that the server had committed criminal trespass and “accosted” his wife while serving the documents.
“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE),” he wrote. “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,” he continued, attached to a picture of his computer screen opened to the Alabama penal code. “More to come!”
Brooks spokesman Clay Mills told TPM that Brooks filed a police report with the Huntsville Police Department. Brooks said Sunday night on Twitter that experts will download his home security footage Monday to prove his claims, and that an “arrest warrant” will be sought.
Andonian flatly denied the claims.
“The server lawfully left the papers with Rep. Brooks’ wife, which constitutes valid service on Rep. Brooks because it happened at their residence,” Andonian told TPM.
“With respect to the allegations of criminal trespass and accosting Mrs. Brooks: As I understand, Brooks is alleging that the server entered the house, which simply is not true,” he added. “And I have no doubt that Mrs. Brooks was not happy to be served (something Rep. Brooks was uniquely situated to prevent, but didn’t).”
Aside from the legal scuffle, Brooks accidentally shared some private information at the bottom of his initial tweet.
In the picture of his computer screen showing the Alabama penal code, a strip of tape at the bottom can be seen with a password next to the word “Gmail.” The congressman seems to have deleted the initial tweet and replaced it with another that cuts off the bottom of the screen.
As for Brooks’ co-defendants, Trump and Trump Jr. filed to dismiss the suit in late May. Trump’s lawyers claimed that the former president has “absolute immunity” from the charges.