The DOJ won’t defend Rep. Mo Brooks in courtroom towards incitement claims dated Jan. 6: NPR

In this file photo dated March 22, 2017, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. being interviewed on Capitol Hill in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite / AP Hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In this file photo dated March 22, 2017, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. being interviewed on Capitol Hill in Washington.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Justice Department denied an application by Alabama Republican MP Mo Brooks for legal protection against a lawsuit linking him to the January 6 riot in the US Capitol.

Brooks, former President Donald Trump, and others were sued by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Earlier this year. Swalwell claims that Brooks and others named in the lawsuit helped incite the mob of Trump supporters on Jan. 6 during a pro-Trump rally.

The group later incriminated the US Capitol. Five people died that day.

The Justice Department says Brooks took part in campaign activities while attending the rally. This is not part of his duties as a member of Congress, so that he does not receive legal immunity for his actions, the ministry said.

“The Department has declined to issue a certificate because it cannot conclude that Brooks was acting in the course of his office or employment as a member of Congress at the time of the incident that gave rise to the claims in this case,” said the Ministry of Justice stated in a court file.

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Legislators can sometimes obtain legal protection as an “employee of the government”. This is permissible if their actions are considered to have taken place within the scope of their duties.

In this case, the federal government’s decision seems to open the door for more people to be held accountable for the uprising that day.

Brooks still has the option to convince a federal judge who will make the final decision.

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