(The Hill) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took the witness stand on Friday as a part of a listening to on whether or not she performed a task within the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the U.S. Capitol, changing into the primary member of Congress to testify underneath oath about their involvement within the assault.
The hours-long testimony featured a collection of tense exchanges between Greene and attorneys for a bunch of her constituents who’re looking for to have the first-term lawmaker barred from showing on the May 24 Georgia main poll.
Lawyers pressed Greene, a staunch ally of former President Trump and probably the most polarizing members of Congress, on her tweets, Facebook posts and feedback main as much as the assault on the U.S. Capitol.
She repeatedly refused to reply questions and rebuffed any suggestion that she had sought to incite or encourage violence through the congressional certification of President Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. Nevertheless, she stood by her declare that widespread voter fraud price Trump a second time period within the White House.
“Under my opinion, there was a tremendous amount of fraudulent things that happened in the election,” Greene stated on the witness stand. “And under my opinion I want to do anything I can to protect election integrity.”
She later added: “We saw a tremendous amount of voter fraud. We have investigations going on right now in the state of Georgia. There’s investigations going on in a number of states.”
Asked at one level throughout her testimony whether or not she had heard prematurely of the Jan. 6 riot whether or not anybody deliberate to enter the Capitol and have interaction in violence, Greene stated she didn’t keep in mind. Asked the same query later within the listening to, she stated that she had “never heard that from anybody.”
There isn’t any proof of widespread voter fraud within the 2020 election, regardless of Trump’s repeated claims on the contrary.
The listening to, which lasted a lot of Friday, centered round a authorized problem filed by a bunch of Georgia voters represented by the group Free Speech for People looking for to disqualify Greene from showing on the poll in her main subsequent month.
The case facilities on a provision of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – often called the disqualification clause – which successfully bars any particular person from holding federal workplace who has beforehand taken an oath to guard and defend the Constitution and who has “engaged in insurrection” towards the United States.
The challengers argue that the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol was an rebellion, that Greene was concerned within the assault and that her involvement ought to preclude her from serving in Congress.
Attorneys for the challengers sought to make the case that though Greene was indirectly concerned within the riot on Jan. 6, she performed an important position in inciting it and must be held accountable.
“She was not on the Capitol steps urging the attackers to breach police lines and smash through the doors on Jan. 6,” lawyer Ron Fein stated, including: “Marjorie Taylor Greene nonetheless played an important role.”
Attorneys for the challengers particularly homed in on Greene’s declare on the time that Jan. 6 could be “our 1776 moment.”
“Instead it turned out to be an 1861 moment,” Fein stated, referring to the 12 months when Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina and kicked off the combating within the American Civil War.
Greene’s lawyer, James Bopp, alternatively, argued that Greene’s efforts to disclaim President Biden’s 2020 victory – together with her requires a response to the congressional certification of the electoral vote – certified as “legitimate political speech.”
Bopp additionally argued that eradicating Greene from the poll would successfully deny the suitable to vote to 1000’s of her constituents, as a result of they might not have the ability to solid their ballots for the candidate of their selection.
“The right to vote is at stake – right here, right now,” Bopp stated. “Because they want to deny the right to vote to the thousands of people in the 14th District of Georgia by having Greene removed from the ballot.”
But the principle spotlight of the Friday listening to was testimony from Greene herself, who spent hours on the witness stand. During her testimony, Greene insisted she had “no knowledge of any attempt” to halt the congressional certification of the electoral vote.
“I don’t support violence of any kind. I’ve said it over and over again,” she stated. “I never mean anything for violence. None of my words ever, ever mean anything for violence.”
Still, Greene reiterated her oft-stated perception that the 2020 presidential election was tainted by widespread voter fraud and that she didn’t imagine Trump misplaced the election to Biden, although she additionally stated that it was “not accurate” to say that she wished Congress to not certify Biden because the winner.
Throughout her testimony, Greene usually grew combative, accusing attorneys for the challengers of splicing and stitching collectively video proof to suit their argument. She additionally criticized the attorneys’ use of CNN experiences through the listening to, accusing the information community of mendacity about her “multiple times.”
“You’re using CNN and they’ve chopped up my words so many times, they’ve lied about me so many times,” Greene stated.
“You sound like you have as many conspiracies as QAnon at this point,” she added, referring to the conspiracy idea holding that the federal government is managed by a “deep state” of globalist pedophiles who’re working towards Trump.
Andrew Celli, a lawyer for the challengers, adopted up by asking whether or not she believes in QAnon. Greene replied: “No, I did not say that I believe in QAnon.”
In later questioning, Greene’s lawyer Bopp sought to focus on the congresswoman’s statements surrounding the Jan. 6 riot calling for peace and nonviolence. Asked how she felt through the assault, Greene stated she was scared.
“I was scared. I was very scared,” she stated. “I was concerned. I was shocked, shocked, shocked, absolutely shocked.”
Administrative Judge Charles Beaudrot, who presided over the listening to, expressed skepticism concerning the challengers’ argument at occasions. At one level, he admonished Celli, saying that he was “pushing the envelope” along with his line of questioning. At one other level, he sternly warned that the listening to is just not “theater.”
“This is not an argument in front of the Supreme Court,” Beaudrot stated. “This is an evidentiary hearing.”
Beaudrot himself won’t decide Greene’s eligibility to look on the poll. Rather, he’ll ship his findings and proposals to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who will decide on Greene’s eligibility.
That choice might put Raffensperger in a troublesome place politically. He has already drawn the ire of Trump for rebuffing his pleas to reverse the 2020 election ends in Georgia, and now faces a Trump-backed challenger, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), within the May 24 main.
The consequence of the problem will probably have ramifications far past Georgia. Similar challenges have been filed towards different Republican lawmakers, together with Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), although a federal choose has blocked the problem to Cawthorn’s capacity to look on the poll.