Former U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks is on the receiving end of an ethics complaint from State Department of Education vice president Wayne Reynolds after Brooks claimed Communist China played a role in his U.S. Senate Republican primary defeat last year.
Last month, Brooks commented during a radio program about Chinese interference in his campaign, saying, "They did everything they could to assist the election of somebody else to the United States Senate in 2022."
Brooks' comments did not sit well with Reynolds, who sits on the executive committee of the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP). Reynolds filed a complaint with the ethics committee.
Brooks currently serves as the District 5 representative on the ALGOP Executive Committee, giving him a spot on ALGOP's steering committee.
The ethics committee will perform an investigation involving some form of hearing, which both parties in the complaint say they are looking forward to.
Reynolds told 1819 News he had no expectations for the hearing and that he trusts the ethics committee to vet the complaint. He also alluded to remarks made by Brooks in the media, saying he would have an advantage with Brooks in any hearing.
"Mo Brooks said he was looking forward to confronting the naive person – and he knew it was me – who was ill-informed and ill-prepared," Reynolds said. "So, if that's what he thinks, that means I have an advantage."
1819 News asked Reynolds what motivated him to file the complaint.
"My own sense of ethics, propriety, and my belief that he was hurting the Republican Party," Reynolds responded.
Despite an up-and-down campaign throughout the 2022 election cycle, Brooks surged in the late stages of the Republican primary to earn a spot in the Republican primary runoff against Katie Britt.
Britt would defeat Brooks in the runoff and ultimately win the 2022 U.S. Senate election to become Alabama's junior U.S. Senator.
"My motivation was not just about Senator Britt," Reynolds continued. "But as I stated in my complaint, I voted for Katie Britt, and I was not influenced by the Communist party, nor do I think the Republican electorate in Alabama was influenced by the Chinese Communist Party, which is what he asserted."
Brooks 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.
"He didn't like the idea that I referred to it as a government-run school system, and he also didn't like that I was saying it was failing our children," Brooks told 1819 News.
He continued, "If you look at my remarks, I said that – and this is paraphrasing – that Communist China did not want me to win the Senate race and was using whatever tools in its toolbox to help make that happen. There was no reference to any of the multitude of candidates who were running for U.S. Senate being helped by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). So, Wayne Reynolds needs to learn how to read better. … I never said that there was a particular candidate in the race that the CCP favored. All I said was that they strongly disfavored me."
Brooks said he looks forward to a hearing. He also shared with 1819 News the message he sent to ALGOP chairman John Wahl.
"I welcome a hearing on this 100% bogus ethics allegation before the full ALGOP Executive Committee in August," the message read. "Give me ten minutes of time to respond to my accuser face-to-face and I will expose my accuser for the naive person he is."
"[Although] I have yet to see a copy of these particular false allegations, the accuser apparently does not understand the plain meaning of words. There are ZERO words by me saying Communist China aided or abetted Katie Britt. This is quite different from my frequent observation about Katie Britt being the "Democrat nominee" in the GOP Primary (plenty of evidence of that, including but not limited to public endorsements of Katie Britt by the Alabama Democrat Party's Executive Director, Democrat Parker Griffith, and [many] other Democrats)."
Britt's communications director, Sean Ross, also responded directly to Brooks's comments.
"His latest comments are detached from reality, an insult to Alabama voters, and an embarrassment to the Alabama Republican Party," Ross said in a statement to 1819 News. "Senator Britt has done more to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party in six months than Congressman Brooks did in four decades. That's one of the many reasons Alabama elected Katie Britt to the U.S. Senate."
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email email@example.com.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.