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Brooks Says Trump Asked Him to Illegally ‘Rescind’ Election

Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who was deeply involved in former President Donald J. Trump’s effort to use Congress to upend the 2020 election and stay in office, claimed on Wednesday that the former president had asked him repeatedly in the months since to illegally “rescind” the election, remove President Biden and force a new special election.

Mr. Brooks made the extraordinary charge as the two onetime allies were engaged in a bitter political feud, and it was not immediately clear how their falling out related to the accusation. But the account from the Alabama congressman, who played a central role in challenging electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6, 2021, suggested that Mr. Trump has continued his efforts to overturn his defeat and be reinstated.

It marked the first time a lawmaker who was involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to invalidate his election defeat has said that Mr. Trump asked for actions that, were they possible, would violate federal law.

His statement came after Mr. Trump withdrew his endorsement of Mr. Brooks in the Republican primary for Alabama’s Senate seat, undercutting the congressman’s already slim chances in a crowded intraparty race.

“President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency,” Mr. Brooks said in a statement on Wednesday. “As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that Jan. 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period.”

In a subsequent text message, Mr. Brooks said Mr. Trump had made the request of him on “multiple occasions” since Sept. 1, 2021. He said the former president did not specify how exactly Congress would reinstall him as president, and Mr. Brooks repeatedly told him it was impossible.

“I told President Trump that ‘rescinding’ the 2020 election was not a legal option. Period,” Mr. Brooks wrote.

Mr. Brooks said Mr. Trump brought up the matter to him repeatedly over the past six months. He said he had initially hoped the requests were not connected to his endorsement in the Senate race, but now believes that Mr. Trump was dangling public support of Mr. Brooks’s candidacy as leverage to try to get a new election.

“I hoped not but you’ve seen what happened today,” Mr. Brooks said in a text. “For emphasis, the conversations about Jan. 6, 2021 being the only 2020 remedy have been going off and on for 6+ months.”

“I know what the legal remedy for a contested presidential election is,” he continued. “There is one and only one per the Constitution and U. S. Code and it occurs on the first Jan. 6 after each presidential election. Period. Game over after January 6.”

Mr. Brooks’s high-profile break with Mr. Trump raised the possibility that he might cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, providing information the panel has so far been unable to secure about what Mr. Trump told his allies in Congress before, during and after the riot. Other Republicans involved in the effort to overturn the 2020 election — Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania — have refused requests from the panel for interviews.

Mr. Brooks did not immediately respond to further questions. In his statement, he said he had fought on behalf of Mr. Trump “between Nov. 3 and Jan. 6” — “when it counted.”

On Dec. 21, 2020, Mr. Brooks and other House Republicans met with Mr. Trump at the White House to discuss plans to object to the election. On Jan. 6, he wore body armor as he addressed the throng of Trump supporters who gathered at the Ellipse near the White House, telling them to “start taking down names and kicking ass.”

“Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America?” Mr. Brooks said, prodding the crowd to cheer more loudly. “Will you fight for America?”

Later on Capitol Hill, after a pro-Trump mob rampaged through the building, Mr. Brooks tried to object to electoral votes from several states for Mr. Biden. He also spread false claims that people who identify with antifa, a loose collective of antifascist activists, might have been responsible for the violence, and gave a speech on the floor falsely claiming the election was stolen from Mr. Trump.

“Noncitizens overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden in exchange for the promised amnesty and citizenship and, in so doing, helped steal the election from Donald Trump, Republican candidates and American citizens all across America,” Mr. Brooks said at the time.

In retracting his endorsement of Mr. Brooks on Wednesday, Mr. Trump abandoned one of his most loyal acolytes in the House after months of simmering frustration and as polls showed Mr. Brooks falling behind in his state’s Republican primary.

In a sign of the former president’s continued focus on the 2020 election, he cited Mr. Brooks’s remarks at a rally last summer urging voters to move on from Mr. Trump’s 2020 defeat.

“When I heard his statement, I said, ‘Mo, you just blew the election, and there’s nothing you can do about it,’” Mr. Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. “Very sad but, since he decided to go in another direction, so have I.”

After Mr. Brooks released his statement, Mr. Trump responded with a second statement in which he did not address Mr. Brooks’s allegations, but said the congressman “went ‘woke’ and decided to drop everything he stood for.”

Mr. Trump said he would endorse another candidate in the race to replace Senator Richard C. Shelby, who is retiring. The former president has privately met with both of the other leading candidates: Katie Britt, a former top aide to Mr. Shelby, and Mike Durant, who was in one of the Black Hawk helicopters that was shot down in Somalia in 1993. Mr. Durant was in Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s residence in Palm Beach, Fla., for a meeting with him this week, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Brooks has struggled to raise money and has seen his support in the contest evaporate. Some private surveys had Mr. Brooks sagging to third place. Mr. Shelby recently told Politico that he planned to use his leftover campaign funds — as much as $6 million — to help Ms. Britt, a financial infusion that further narrowed Mr. Brooks’s pathway to victory.

The Trump endorsement has been so central to the Brooks candidacy that his official campaign logo included the fact that Mr. Trump had endorsed him.

In a last-ditch effort to keep Mr. Trump in his corner, Mr. Brooks released a television ad last week that used footage from his speech at the Jan. 6 rally. Looking straight into the camera, Mr. Brooks said in the ad, “On Jan. 6, I proudly stood with President Trump in the fight against voter fraud.”

Mr. Brooks has repeatedly defended his actions in challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 election and attempting to overturn its results.

But on Wednesday, he lashed back at Mr. Trump.

“I repeat what has prompted President Trump’s ire,” he said in his statement. “The only legal way America can prevent 2020’s election debacle is for patriotic Americans to focus on and win the 2022 and 2024 elections so that we have the power to enact laws that give us honest and accurate elections.”

He added: “I’ve told President Trump the truth knowing full well that it might cause President Trump to rescind his endorsement. But I took a sworn oath to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution. I honor my oath. That is the way I am. I break my sworn oath for no man.”

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