Fellow House members criticized Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., after he released a statement Thursday that appeared to be sympathetic to the man police had arrested earlier in the day in connection with a bomb threat near the U.S. Capitol.
“Although this terrorist’s motivation is not yet publicly known, and generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society,” Brooks tweeted. “The way to stop Socialism’s march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 election.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., responded to the statement in a tweet, calling it “evil.”
He added in another tweet: “The GOP has a decision to make. Are we going to be the party that keeps stoking sympathy for domestic terrorists and pushes out truth, or finally take a stand for truth. I’ve made my decision, so has Mo. Now it’s up to GOP conference leadership to make theirs.”
Brooks’ office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said in a tweet that Brooks was being sympathetic to a terrorist.
“It is astonishing that this needs to be said but no one who serves in Congress should be expressing public sympathy with the views of a terrorist who threatened to blow up the U.S. Capitol. I would have thought we could all at least agree on that,” he said.
Police arrested Floyd Ray Roseberry after an hourslong standoff near the Capitol. The incident began Thursday morning when Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress, authorities said. Before his arrest, he spoke about health care and complained about undocumented immigrants in several Facebook livestream videos on an account identified as that of “Ray Roseberry.” He repeatedly said he was starting a revolution.
Brooks was one of the Republican lawmakers who spoke at the rally then-President Donald Trump held Jan. 6 hours before the Capitol riot. Brooks told the pro-Trump mob, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking a–.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., also criticized Brooks’ statement.
“Tell us you stand with the terrorist without telling us you stand with the terrorist,” he said in a tweet.
He added in another tweet, “What bothers so many of my@HouseDemocrats’ colleagues about this tweet is that we know if@RepMoBrooks wasn’t in Congress on January 6 he would have been on the other side of the chamber with the violent mob.”
Swalwell filed a lawsuit in March accusing President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Brooks of violating federal civil rights laws and local incitement laws. All spoke at the rally. The suit also accuses Brooks of trying to interfere with the counting of the electoral vote.