Swalwell private investigator has spent 'many days' seeking Mo Brooks to serve lawsuit
Swalwell is suing Trump and Brooks over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Attorneys for Rep. Eric Swalwell hired a private investigator to look for Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., to serve him with the California Democrat's lawsuit, but have been unable to locate him despite spending "many hours over many days" on the hunt, according to a new court filing.
Swalwell's attorneys this week successfully asked a federal judge for more time to officially serve Brooks with the lawsuit papers given the ongoing difficulties they've had in contacting him. Swalwell filed suit in March against Brooks, former President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani accusing them of inciting the Jan. 6 riot and demanding they be held financially responsible for the suffering that followed.
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Unlike the Trumps and Giuliani who have waived formal service of the lawsuit, Swalwell's team says Brooks has made it hard on them.
"Plaintiff had to engage the services of a private investigator to attempt to serve Brooks personally – a difficult feat under normal circumstances that has been complicated further in the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol that Defendants incited," Swalwell's lawyers wrote in a Wednesday court filing that cited the lack of access to the Capitol grounds due to heightened security.
The private investigator "has spent many hours over many days in April and May at locations in multiple jurisdictions attempting to locate and serve Brooks, to no avail," the lawyers wrote.
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Brooks, a candidate for Alabama Senate, has previously called Swalwell's lawsuit "meritless" and attacked the Democrat personally for his ties to an alleged Chinese spy.
Brooks responded Thursday with a written statement to Fox News.
"First, under the law, it is the plaintiff's job to serve a lawsuit on a defendant, not the other way around. It is not a defendant's job to alter his conduct and go out of his way to seek out suit service," he wrote.
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"Second, I am avoiding no one. I have altered my conduct not one iota since Swalwell's politically motivated, meritless lawsuit was filed," he said. "I have made dozens of publicized public appearances since the lawsuit was filed. If Swalwell was sincere about suit service, he could have served me at any of these public events.
"Third, Swalwell is wrong (perhaps to the point of being illegal) to seek to use federal property and federal employees (my staff) for his personal and political gain, which is what his lawsuit is about."
Brooks charged that "Swalwell, with the Fake News media's partisan help, uses the lawsuit to get political publicity for himself."