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The Jan. 6 Rally Was Supposed to Be Peaceful. So Why Was Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks Wearing Body Armor?

The GOP lawmaker claimed he received a tip about potential violence. Yet, he still encouraged the Trump mob to start 'taking down names and kicking ass.'

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The mayonnaise-slathered rally on Jan. 6 was supposed to be a peaceful protest of white folks who don’t understand how elections work. Because they didn’t understand that the vote that day to certify the 2020 presidential election was procedural, they gathered outside the Capitol to yell and shout and “yee-haw” as Trump and other elected officials whipped them all up into a lather.

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks was one of those elected officials who spoke that day to the thirsty band of terrorists. But Brooks didn’t just phone it in during his speech, he encouraged violence.

“Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!” Brooks said right before the angry mob descended upon the Capitol, Slate reports. In fact, Slate notes that Brooks still believes months after the election is all but a speck in America’s rearview mirror that Trump would have won the election if only “lawful votes” were counted.

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And now with the House select committee looking into the events that led to the failed attempt to overthrow the government, Brooks’ involvement in the rally and possible awareness of fuckshit is taking center stage.

On Tuesday, the House committee held its first meeting and Brooks was too busy to watch.

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“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 told Slate. “Busy day.” But, who is he kidding? Brooks has no time for anything that looks like actual law.

“The purpose of that committee is not to discern the truth,” he said. “The purpose is to create political propaganda that may be used in the elections in 2022 and perhaps 2024.”

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And there you have it; spoken like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene before him.

But in Brooks’ blathering about his disdain for the committee hearings and how they were akin to a political witch hunt, he may have overshared a bit too much.

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I will Slate writer Jim Newell explain it:

Brooks, like Republican leaders who tried to counterprogram the hearing with a press conference yesterday, thinks a proper investigation would look at why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office wasn’t “doing a better job with respect to the Capitol Police and their level of preparation.”

Then, to prove his point about preparation, he revealed a new detail to me: that because of a tip he’d received about potential violence, he’d been wearing body armor at the very same Ellipse speech in which he encouraged rally attendees to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

“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 armor.

“That’s why I was wearing that nice little windbreaker,” he told me with a grin. “To cover up the body armor.”

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And this is exactly why the House select committee needs to subpoena his ass. How do you attend a supposed peaceful rally in fucking body armor? Who warned him about the “risk” of violence?

But Brooks wasn’t done. He told Newell that “There were probably a ‘half-dozen different motivations that affected people in varying degrees’ to engage in insurrection. He named, for example, ‘financial losses suffered because of the government’s reaction to COVID-19,’ ‘the belief that there was significant voter fraud and election theft activity,” or “a great love and respect for President Trump.’”

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“It might be,” too, he added, “that some of them were just militant anarchists and saw this as an opportunity to infiltrate an otherwise peaceful protest and turn it into a riot.”

Or maybe Brooks knew all of this beforehand, which is why he told those gathered: “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!” And it might explain why he came to the supposedly peaceful event wearing a bulletproof vest.