Trenton political insiders watched with bemusement as Brooks took the podium. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO
The first person Rudy Giuliani, the attorney for President Donald Trump, called up as a witness to baseless allegations of vote counting shenanigans in Philadelphia during a press conference last week is a sex offender who for years has been a perennial candidate in New Jersey.
“It’s such a shame. This is a democracy,” Daryl Brooks, who said he was a GOP poll watcher, said at the press conference, held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Northeast Philadelphia. “They did not allow us to see anything. Was it corrupt or not? But give us an opportunity as poll watchers to view all the documents — all of the ballots.”
Trenton political insiders watched with bemusement as Brooks took the podium.
Brooks was incarcerated in the 1990s on charges of sexual assault, lewdness and endangering the welfare of a minor for exposing himself to two girls ages 7 and 11, according to news accounts.
Brooks has run for various offices, including U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
POLITICO left a message at a number for Brooks listed online. Brooks said at the press conference that he’s from Philadelphia. POLITICO could not immediately ascertain if and when he moved there.
During the press conference, however, he said he moved to Philadelphia two years ago.
“I started watching it and all of a sudden I was like, ‘there’s New Jersey’s perennial candidate claiming to live in Philadelphia and Giuliani claiming him to be a poll watcher and Philadelphia resident,” Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said in a phone interview.
James Gee, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), also said he immediately recognized Brooks.
“Yeah, I know Daryl. It’s so fitting that he would be there,” Gee said.
Gee said he believed Brooks was hired for Hillary Clinton‘s campaign in 2016.
“People don’t pay attention to who they hire. They’re just trying to get bodies, particularly if it’s a white organizer,” said Gee, who’s Black. “And this time apparently, I guess he was on the Republican side of the watchers.“