HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WKRN) — An Alabama congressman is claiming to understand ‘citizenry anger’ on part of a man who claimed to have a bomb outside of the Library of Congress.
Republican Mo Brooks whose district covers Huntsville and northern Alabama tweeted a statement Thursday offering his condolences to his staff, Capitol Police, and first responders.
“Sadly, violence and threats of violence targeting America’s political institutions are far too common,” Rep. Brooks said in the statement.
However, Brooks took the statement a step further saying that he “understood citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom, and the very fabric of American society.”
“The way to stop Socialism’s march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 elections. I strongly encourage patriotic Americans to do exactly that more so than ever before. Bluntly stated, America’s future is at risk,” Rep. Brooks said.
Earlier Thursday, 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry of North Carolina, drove onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress and made bomb threats to officers.
The standoff was resolved peacefully after roughly five hours of negotiations, ending when Roseberry crawled out of the truck and was taken into law enforcement custody.
The episode unfolded during a tense period in Washington, coming eight months after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and one month before a planned rally in Washington that law enforcement officials have been preparing for.
Police negotiators spent hours communicating with Roseberry as he wrote notes and showed them to authorities from inside the truck, according to the two people and a third person also briefed on the matter, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
While police continued negotiations, video surfaced of Roseberry on Facebook Live inside the truck, which was stuffed with coins and boxes. He was threatening explosions, making anti-government threats and talking about what he believes are the ills of the country, including the U.S. position on Afghanistan, health care and the military.
He said Democrats needed to step down, then also said he loved the president, Democrat Joe Biden. Facebook removed the videos a few hours after they were apparently filmed. Roseberry did not appear to have a specific demand for law enforcement other than to speak with Biden.
Videos posted to his Facebook before the page was taken down appears to show Roseberry at the Nov. 14 rally attended by thousands of Trump supporters to protest what they claimed was a stolen election. One video appears to be filmed by Roseberry as he’s marching with a crowd of hundreds of people carrying American flags and Trump flags and shouting “stop the steal.”
Several lawmakers and many Twitter users are chiming in on Brooks’ tweet, calling him a ‘traitor’ and a ‘terrorist.’
Alabama Democrats responded to Rep. Brooks. tweet: “Mo Brooks quoted Hitler and compared Democrats to Nazis. On January 6th, he told the crowd who later stormed the Capitol to “kick ass and take names.” Today, Brooks assumed the person threatening the US Capitol with a bomb was on his side saying he “understand(s)” the anger.”
In a tweet, California Congressman Eric Swalwell said that what bothers him and his colleagues is that if Rep. Brooks “wasn’t in Congress on January 6 he would have been on the other side of the chamber with the violent mob.”
Swalwell filed a lawsuit against Brooks, Former President Donald Trump, former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump Jr. back in March, accusing them “for inciting an attack against the Capitol that terrorized lawmakers and prevented us from certifying the votes of the American people.”
Brooks has since asked for immunity from the lawsuit, arguing that “he was acting within the scope of his office when he spoke at a rally Jan. 6 and thus was due the legal protections afforded federal employees and members of Congress who are facing civil lawsuits over their jobs.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.