U.S. judge dismisses claims that congressman incited Capitol riots


WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed civil claims against Republican Representative Mo Brooks alleging he helped incite supporters of former President Donald Trump’s to attack the U.S. Capitol in January 2021, saying Brooks’ speech to the crowd was constitutionally protected free speech.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta represents a setback for U.S. House of Representatives Democrats, including Eric Swalwell, who last year filed the lawsuit against Trump and his allies alleging they encouraged the crowd to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress met to formally certify Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over Trump.

Mehta in February had dismissed claims against several of Brooks’ co-defendants, including former Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. But in that ruling, Mehta said he would…

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