Reprinted with permission from American Independent
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who is currently a candidate for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat, paid out over $25,000 to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort just days after receiving an endorsement from Trump.
Brooks is running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Richard Shelby, who has announced he will not run for reelection in 2022. The seat has beenrated as "solid" for the Republican Party by multiple political ratings organizations.
On Thursday, in a federal campaign finance filing, Brooks' campaign disclosed that it had paid over $25,000 to Mar-a-Lago for catering and event space. Shelby held a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on April 23 and Trump, who currently lives at the resort after losing the presidential election, was scheduled to be in attendance.
Just a few weeks before, on April 7, Trump endorsed Brooks over the three other Republican candidates who have already declared their candidacy.
"Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks," Trump wrote in a statement, noting that the candidate "has my Complete and Total Endorsement."
Trump told Fox News on April 20 that Brooks would have "clear sailing" in his campaign for the seat and asserted he "just went up 41 points" even though no poll to support that claim has been released.
During his presidency, members of the Republican Party and businesses and governments seeking Trump's influence frequently spent money at his properties, with Trump businesses profiting throughout his term in office.
Brooks has deeply integrated the Trump endorsement into his campaign. On his official campaign Twitter account, Brooks refers to himself as "Mo Brooks – Endorsed by President Trump." The phrase "Endorsed by Trump" appears in the banner of the account as well, and the same language appears on Brooks' official campaign website and Facebook account.
Brooks has been under fire for a speech given on January 6 at a "Save America" rally protesting the outcome of the 2020 election. Before Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, Brooks told the crowd to "stop at the Capitol" and that "today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass."
Several members of Congress called for Brooks to be formally censured for inciting the crowd.
"Censure seems too trifling a punishment in this horrific case, but it's the minimal level of accountability Congressman Brooks should face from the same Congress he goaded rioters to assault," Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement in January.
Brooks is also being sued by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) for his role in the insurrection. Swalwell alleges that Brooks, along with Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, broke the law by inciting the riot.
Despite this criticism, Brooks recently spoke at CPAC in Dallas, Texas, on July 9 and told attendees, "Our choice is simple: We can surrender and submit, or we can fight back."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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