Fact Check

Did US Rep. Mo Brooks Tweet His Gmail Password?

A screenshot, rather than a photograph, can be an effective way to take an image of your computer screen.

Published June 7, 2021

Image courtesy of C-SPAN
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks posted an image on Twitter that revealed his Gmail password.
What's True

A viral image that supposedly revealed the Gmail password and pin number of Alabama congressman Mo Brooks is genuine and truly originated with Brooks' Twitter account. However ...

What's Undetermined

We can't confirm that this was the congressman's current password when it was posted. One indication that it may have been an old, non-working password is that it was accompanied by the year 2020, not 2021.

On June 6, 2021, California congressman Eric Swalwell served a lawsuit to Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks in an attempt to hold the Alabama representative accountable for his alleged role in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. When Brooks responded to the lawsuit on Twitter, he included a photograph of his computer screen that was open to a page about Alabama's laws.

While Brooks claimed that Swalwell broke the law by "sneaking into my house" — something Swalwell's team denies — many social media users were more concerned with what appeared in the bottom right-hand corner of the image: A set of characters supposedly revealing Brooks' Gmail password.

This is a genuine picture that was posted to Brooks' account. At the time of this writing, which is about 20 hours after the message was posted, it was still available on Brooks' account. Brooks did post a second photograph of his computer screen, this time with the alleged password cropped out of the image. But he has yet to delete the original message.

While this image is genuine and truly originated with Brooks, we can't say for certain that this photograph revealed the congressman's current Gmail password. For one, the photograph also included the words "New 2020," which seemingly indicates that these passwords were new in 2020. It's possible that they have been changed since then. We reached out to the congressman for more information and we will update this article accordingly.

Swalwell sued former President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., adviser Rudy Giuliani, and Brooks in an attempt to hold them accountable for inciting an attempted insurrection. The lawsuit reads in part:

"The Defendants, in short, convinced the mob that something was occurring that -- if actually true -- might indeed justify violence, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action."

But Swalwell's team ran into difficulties in its attempts to serve the lawsuit to Brooks, as the Republican congressman was reportedly avoiding them. Fox News reported:

Attorneys for Rep. Eric Swalwell hired a private investigator to look for Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., to serve him with the California Democrat's lawsuit, but have been unable to locate him despite spending "many hours over many days" on the hunt, according to a new court filing.

On June 6, Swalwell's team successfully served Brooks with the lawsuit. While the Alabama congressman claimed that Swalwell's team acted illegally by entering his home, Philip Andonian, an attorney for Swalwell, denied this to CNN:

"No one entered or even attempted to enter the Brooks' house. That allegation is completely untrue. A process server lawfully served the papers on Mo Brooks' wife, as the federal rules allow."

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.