The complaint alleges that Brooks has betrayed the public trust by using congressional resources in a recent campaign ad, and on his campaign’s social media.
Embattled Alabama Senate candidate Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is now facing an ethics complaint about the improper use of his congressional pin in a recent campaign ad, and for using his congressional photo on his campaign’s social media.
The complaint was filed by Joe Fuller an insurance agent in Alabama, on Friday and alleges that Brooks’ official congressional pin can be seen in his recent campaign ad, “To The President.”
“To The President” was released on Friday after President Trump endorsed Brooks’ primary opponent, Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL). Brooks had attempted to paint himself as the most pro-Trump candidate in the Alabama Senate race, but Brooks ‘never-Trump’ past came back to haunt him throughout the campaign.
The use of Brooks’ congressional pin in the ad could be in violation of the House Ethics Manual, which clearly states that:
“Official resources of the House must, as a general rule, be used for the performance of official business of the House, and hence those resources may not be used for campaign or political purposes.”
The complaint alleges that, along with being in violation of the House Ethics Manual, Brooks also violated 18 U.S. Code § 713 by using his Member of Congress photo for his campaign’s social media.
18 U.S. Code § 713 clear states that:
“Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States … or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress … for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”
This is not the first time that Brooks has been accused of having “questionable ethics.” According to an Alabama Today story from August 11, 2017:
“In October 1992, the Huntsville Times wrote a series of pieces profiling Brooks, who was serving as Madison County district attorney at the time. Mostly written by reporter John Anderson, the Times series suggests there were several instances of questionable ethics by Brooks, including choosing jurors based on ZIP codes, pressuring colleagues for support, rainy day funds and mixing politics with his job.”
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