On Sunday, the Alabama GOP (ALGOP) Ethics Committee dismissed the ethics complaint against former U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) by State Department of Education vice president Wayne Reynolds.
Earlier this month, 1819 News reported on an ethics complaint after Brooks claimed Communist China played a role in his U.S. Senate Republican primary defeat last year.
"Communist China is very much aware of my views, and so they did everything they could to assist the election of somebody else to the United States Senate in 2022," Brooks said during a radio interview.
Those comments did not sit well with Reynolds, who subsequently filed an ethics complaint with ALGOP.
"This report indicates Mo Brooks asserts Alabama Republicans were influenced and/or deceived by Communist China and voted based on the actions and influence by the Communist Chinese," Reynolds' complaint read. "This is unethical behavior that harms the Alabama Republican Party and impugns the validity of our Party election process."
Brooks currently serves as the District 5 representative on the ALGOP Executive Committee, giving him a spot on ALGOP's steering committee.
The original article from 1819 News that detailed Brooks' remarks and attached audio from his radio segment was attached to Reynolds' complaint.
On Sunday, an ALGOP committee met to hear the complaint from Reynolds and other Republican members who later joined Reynolds.
On Monday, ALGOP Ethics chairman Shanon Terry sent an email to all parties saying that, after committee deliberation, a majority decision was made to dismiss the complaint.
Reynolds declined to comment on the details of the committee hearing.
Brooks told 1819 News that he could not discuss details of the committee meeting but that he hoped damage to his reputation could be repaired.
“I am not permitted to talk about any of the details of the hearing," Brooks said. "I personally believe that is bad policy, that these kinds of hearings should be public, that witnesses should be put under oath to improve veracity, but the ethics code is what it is. I can confirm that the ethics committee heard the arguments and dismissed the complaint.”
“The Ethics committee’s verdict was a victory for freedom of Speech that Wayne Reynolds was trying to suppress,” he continued. “Everyone in America should be allowed to express their views and opinion about everything, and if someone wants to disagree, the way you do it is through discourse, not through abusing and subverting an ethics code process that is supposed to be used to promote good ethics, not be used as a vehicle to sordidly attack someone’s good name and character."
Brooks added, "I have had over 40 ethics complaints filed against me during my time in Congress. All were motivated by politics, not out of concern for ethics. And ultimately, all were resolved by a decision made in my favor. So, something needs to be done to prevent ethics codes and processes from being used as political weapons rather than as tools for the promotion of better governmental ethics."
According to Brooks, Reynolds' intent was to damage his reputation, which was accomplished through this process.
“His mission was achieved," Brooks said. "He was able to besmirch my reputation in the news media by falsely impugning my character. And only after the fact, will there be some semblance of news media coverage that helps to repair the damage that Wayne Reynolds sought to inflict and did inflict."
He continued, “I strongly encourage Wayne Reynolds to spend more time trying to rescue children who are hurt by a government-run school system that is of much lesser quality than that in the rest of America. That’s what his job is, that’s what he is paid to do and that’s what he should do.”
Brooks previously told 1819 News that Reynolds completely misrepresented his remarks since he never once suggested that Britt directly received Communist Chinese support. He also indicated that the complaint is personal, stemming from Brooks' previous critiques regarding Alabama's school system.
Although he declined to comment on the committee's decision, Reynolds has previously said he would accept the committee's decision, no matter the outcome.
Brooks repeatedly said Reynolds' claim should be dismissed since his statements did not suggest China backed any particular candidate. Instead, he claimed that China had a vested interest in seeing him not elected.
"Wayne Reynolds complaint should be dismissed on its face because it offers ZERO evidence that my remarks were knowingly false or, for that matter, untrue in any way, shape or form," Brooks previously told 1819 News. "Rather, Wayne Reynolds' disgruntlement is based entirely on his contrary opinion and dislike of my opinion. As the accuser, Wayne Reynolds has the burden to properly allege and prove a factual basis for a violation of ALGOP's Ethics Rules . . . and he did not so allege and he can not so prove."
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