On Jan. 6, 2021, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks gave a speech at the Republican rally that preceded the assault on the Capitol. That night, he voted in the House to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election. In April 2021, Donald Trump endorsed Brooks’ campaign to replace retiring Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby. The Republican primary in that race is being held on May 24 of this year, and its winner will be favored to win the general election in the fall.
But Brooks, who is not considered a charismatic figure or great campaigner, is polling in third place in the race, about 15 points behind the two leaders. On Wednesday morning, Trump announced that he is “hereby withdrawing” his endorsement of Brooks—something that he’s reportedly considering doing in a number of other races across the country in which he’s backed personally erratic or otherwise troubled candidates who are not doing well in polls. Trump’s nominal reason is that Brooks, at the rally depicted in the photo above, told voters to put the issue of alleged 2020 election fraud behind them and “look forward” instead to 2022 and 2024. This is an unconvincing explanation given that the rally took place last August, but it appears to have provoked Mo Brooks into making a pretty remarkable claim in his own Wednesday statement:
At first glance this statement doesn’t entirely make sense, given that Mo Brooks is currently one of 435 members of the House of Representatives and doesn’t have any formal role that would even give him the opportunity to declare that Joe Biden is no longer the president. So what it could mean instead is that Trump, assuming like many people that Republicans will retake both the House and Senate this November, is asking the candidates he endorses to commit to some sort of effort to remove Biden from office—but not an impeachment, because that would make Kamala Harris president—and somehow reinstall him as president on the pretext that he “won” in 2020. (Update, March 23, 2022, at 9:30 p.m.: Brooks told Vaughn Hillyard of NBC News that he and Trump never got as far as discussing whether Congress would be the institution that would “rescind” the election because Brooks told Trump that doing so was legally impossible. He did say that one of their conversations about holding a new election happened at some point after the most recent Labor Day, i.e., after Biden had already been in office for more than half a year.)
It never ends with this guy!