Montgomery, Ala. -- Today, the SPLC Action Fund filed a complaint to the Alabama Bar calling for the disbarment of U.S. Rep. Morris “Mo” Brooks, the United States Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. The complaint argues that Brooks should lose his right to practice law because of his statements delegitimizing the November 2020 General Election before it even took place. The complaint also addresses Brooks’ subsequent efforts to prevent the U.S. Congress from complying with its constitutional duties to count the votes of the Electoral College and certify that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected president and vice-president.
The complaint states that Brooks violated professional standards and laws by promoting unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud; mobilizing domestic extremists; and marshalling a failed coup of the U.S. government that resulted in considerable death and destruction. Two of Brooks’ constituents died during the insurrection and several were arrested, including one of his constituents who was charged with 17 felonies.
Even after Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Rep. Brooks continued to insist the election was being stolen by Democrats. Brooks also partnered with Ali Alexander—a founder of the Stop the Steal Movement—sometime after the general election to organize and promote the January 6 “Save America Rally” turned-insurrection. Brooks spoke at that event and urged attendees to forcefully prevent Congress from certifying the election, urging them to “start taking down names” of federal legislators, “kick ass” and stand ready to sacrifice their lives to prevent former President Donald Trump’s removal from office. After the event ended in violence and death, Brooks refused to back down from his statements during that day.
Brooks has continued to promote claims that the election was stolen, relying on his experience as a lawyer and former prosecutor to legitimize his false statements about the election results. The complaint argues that he has violated the rules of professional conduct that govern all lawyers with his actions, and also may have committed federal crimes by encouraging violence on Jan. 6, including treason, seditious conspiracy, sedition/insurrection and advocating the overthrow of the government.
Furthermore, Brooks’ conduct has a notorious precedent in the Deep South, including Alabama, where attorney-politicians participated in political and extrajudicial violence against African Americans during the end of Reconstruction after the Civil War and were not held professionally accountable for their unethical and unlawful actions. Instead, their actions launched or strengthened illustrious political careers.
A copy of the Bar complaint can be found here.