- A group of voters say Greene’s alleged actions around Jan. 6 make her an insurrectionist.
- Greene said she had “no knowledge” of any attempt to unlawfully interfere with the electoral process.
- Greene’s lawyer called her a “victim” of the Jan. 6 attack and said she felt her life was in danger.
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Friday fended off questions in court as she tried to beat back a constitutional challenge to her ballot eligibility because of her actions on and around Jan. 6.
A group of voters say Greene’s alleged actions around the Capitol riot make her an insurrectionist, and therefore disqualified for running for office under the 14th Amendment – a charge Greene has loudly disputed.
Greene said she had “no knowledge” of any attempt to unlawfully interfere with the electoral process.
“I was asking people to come for a peaceful march (Jan. 6), which is what everyone is entitled to do under the First Amendment,” she said during the hearing before a judge from Georgia’s Office of State Administrative Hearings. “But I was not asking them to actively engage in violence or any type of action.”
“Under my opinion, I want to do anything I can to protect election integrity and to protect the people of my district in Georgia, people’s votes,” she added.
Greene said that although a Jan. 6 rally was marked on her calendar, she did not know who put it there and that she was “too busy” preparing to object to Biden’s certification to attend. When repeatedly questioned about planning and attendance for Jan. 6 events, Greene responded several times that she had no recollection.
Free Speech for People legal director Ron Fein asked Greene about a number of social media posts on her accounts, including posts she liked and retweeted.
One tweet Fein said Greene liked on Twitter, citing a CNN article, suggested “a bullet to the head of Nancy Pelosi would be a quicker way to remove her as Speaker of the House than impeachment.” Greene said she has “no idea who liked that comment” and asserted that CNN has lied about her “multiple times.”
In a broader comment, Greene said “I never mean anything for violence, my words never mean anything for violence.”
She also declined to describe Jan. 6 defendants who broke the law with intent to interfere with the electoral process as enemies to the Constitution, saying she “doesn’t know” if the Constitution defines them that way.
Fein said Greene’s social media posts were significant provocation to the rioters.
“She was not on the Capitol steps, urging the attackers to breach police lines and smash through the doors on January 6; that was not the role that she played,” Fein said. “But what became clear, as December turned into January, as lawful means of preventing the certification of Joe Biden were exhausted, as nonviolent – even if unlawful – means were exhausted, is that Marjorie Taylor Greene nonetheless played an important role, even after she took the oath on January 3 to uphold the Constitution and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. “
Greene’s lawyer, James Bopp Jr., called Greene a “victim” of the Jan. 6 attack and said that she felt her life was in danger that day.
The hearing at times has gotten somewhat rowdy. Judge Charles Beaudrot cut short cheers from the crowd when a break was announced and interrupted a quarrel between the defense and prosecution by saying the hearing is “not a show” and “not theater.”
“This is not theater, this is not an argument before the Supreme Court; This is an evidentiary hearing, ”he said. “Let’s get this going.”
The 14th Amendment provision the voters are citing against Greene, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, says that former government officials and military officers who promised to uphold the Constitution cannot serve again if they engage in insurrection against the Constitution. That’s unless two-thirds of the US House of Representatives and Senate each vote to pardon them, Gerard Magliocca, a constitutional law professor at Indiana University who testified Friday, told USA TODAY.
The provision has rarely been used since the Civil War, making its legal application to modern events murky.