A controversy erupted over the process of serving Brooks with the lawsuit – handing over paperwork informing him that he had been prosecuted. It is usually a procedural formality, and takes place with little fanfare. But Swellwell told the court that he needed to hire a private investigator to locate Brooks, and Brooks claimed that the laws were broken when the trial was finally completed.
CNN was unable to confirm Brooks’ claim that Svalwell’s team had committed a crime, and Svalwell’s attorney, Philip Andonian, pushed back the allegations. He previously told CNN: “No one entered or even attempted to enter Brooks’ home. This allegation is completely false. A process server legally called Mo Brooks’ wife.” Served on papers, as federal regulations allow.”
“I chased and drove down the driveway too,” he said. “When I stopped my car at the bottom of the hill, the Toyota Highlander was parked in a parking garage and the parking garage door was open. I got out of my car and walked to the driver’s side door of the Toyota Highlander.”
Brooks’ wife, Martha Brooke, then opened the door, Sekleki said in a court filing.
“I extended the papers toward the woman to accept her and said, ‘Mrs. Brooks, I’m serving you with the legal paperwork. This is for your husband, Mo Brooks,'” Ceckley continued. “…she didn’t respond but yelled at me to leave and told me she was calling the police.”
For a brief moment, Ceckley said he was barred from leaving Brooks’ house.
“I was unable to leave immediately because Martha Brooks walked into the back of my car, apparently to note down my license plate, and the only way out was to back down the driveway,” Ceckley said, explaining that He left the driveway “five or six seconds.”
The affidavit largely corroborates home security camera footage that Brooks tweeted on Monday. The footage didn’t have audio, but did show Ceckley stepping into the garage briefly, before Martha Brooks chased him back to his car. In an earlier tweet, Brooks claimed that Swellwell’s personal investigator was “caught illegally entering my house and accusing my wife!”
The entire encounter — from Sekleki getting out of his car to serve papers until he started driving — footage lasted less than 40 seconds, according to Brooks. The footage, as well as the explanation of what happened in Ceckley’s affidavit, reflect a more general example of someone serving the trial, not the sad episode that Brooks portrayed in his tweets.
The civil lawsuit, which is still in its early stages, accuses Trump, his longtime attorney Rudy Giuliani, his son Donald Trump Jr., and Brooks of violating anti-terrorism laws in Washington, D.C. by inciting a Capitol riot. All these figures have denied responsibility for the attack.
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.