Representative Mo Brooks has told a reporter that he was wearing body armour during his notorious speech on 6 January, when he encouraged Trump rally attendees to “start taking down names and kicking ass”.
It was a speech that has caused him serious ongoing legal issues. Earlier this year, Mr Brooks and others were sued for fomenting the 6 January riot, in which hundreds of Trump supporters breached the Capitol building to protest the 2020 election results.
This week the Justice Department refused Mr Brooks’ request to shield him from the lawsuit, in part because he said that during the rally, he had not been acting as an elected official, but as a politician seeking to influence future elections, reports Slate.
Mr Brooks told a Slate reporter that he had decided to wear concealed body armour on the day, because he’d received a tip-off that the rally could turn violent.
“I was warned on Monday that there might be risks associated with the next few days,” he said. “And as a consequence of those warnings, I did not go to my condo. Instead, I slept on the floor of my office. And when I gave my speech at the Ellipse, I was wearing body armour.
“That’s why I was wearing that nice little windbreaker,” he added. “To cover up the body armour.”
Mr Brooks also told the reporter he did not watch the first hearing of the House select committee investigating the Capitol invasion that was held on Tuesday.
“I was in the House Armed Services Committee, Science, Space, Technology Committee, and had at least one Zoom meeting, and all sorts of other things,” he said. “Busy day.”
He added: “The purpose of that committee is not to discern the truth,” continuing: “The purpose is to create political propaganda that may be used in the elections in 2022 and perhaps 2024.”
Whether he approves of the committee or not, it could still bring Mr Brooks in for questioning about the riot – and his admitted decision to wear body armour may not help his case.