(WASHINGTON) — GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday became the first member of Congress to publicly testify under oath about the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Monday night, a federal judge allowed a legal challenge by a group of Georgia voters to move forward as they seek to disqualify Greene from running for reelection, citing her alleged role in supporting the attack.
The voters argue a provision of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment known as the “disqualification clause” prevents Greene from holding federal office.
Passed after the Civil War, the disqualification clause bars any person from holding federal office who has previously taken an oath to protect the Constitution — including a member of Congress — who has “engaged in insurrection” against the United States or “given aid or comfort” to its “enemies.”
An avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, Greene has denied any involvement in the attack and said she is appealing.
Judge Charles Beaudrot presided over Friday’s hearing and expert witnesses were called to testify.
In his opening statement, Ron Fein, a lawyer representing five voters who made the complaint against Greene and the legal director of Free Speech For People, argued why Jan. 6 should be considered an insurrection.
“This was not the type of insurrection where the leaders were standing in Richmond, Virginia, giving long-winded speeches,” Fein said. “Rather, the leaders of this insurrection, of whom there were a number, were among us — on Facebook, Twitter and corners of social media that would make your stomach hurt. The evidence will show that Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of them.”
“The most powerful witness against Marjorie Taylor Greene’s candidacy, the most powerful witness in establishing that she crossed the line into engagement of insurrection is Marjorie Taylor Greene herself,” he said.
Fein told ABC News in an email that the Georgia “voters who filed this lawsuit have a right to have their challenge heard” and that he looked forward to questioning Greene under oath.
Inside the courtroom, he pressed the congresswoman on her oath of office.
“If you were aware that somebody was going to unlawfully interfere with the constitutional process of counting electoral votes, you would be obliged to have them arrested or stopped, right?” Fein asked.
She responded, “I had no knowledge of any examples, and so that’s the question I can’t answer.”
The time frame for the judge to render his decision on whether Greene should remain on the ballot is tight. Early voting for the Georgia primary begins May 2 and the primary itself is on May 17.
James Bopp, Greene’s attorney, told ABC News this week that the challenge to Greene is “absurd” and that it shouldn’t be up to judges to decide who represents Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.
“Those voters have a right to vote for the candidate of their choosing. And they have a right to have their vote counted,” he told the court in his opening statement Friday, adding that Greene was not a perpetrator but a “victim” of the attack, which he argued was “despicable” but not an insurrection.
“Her life was in danger, she thought,” Bopp said. “She was scared and confused.”
Fein, representing the voters mounting the challenge, tried to negate that narrative, bringing up Greene’s Twitter account leading up to Jan. 6 in which she endorsed the rally but never used the word “peaceful.”
“Well, I never meant anything for violence. I don’t support violence of any kind,” Greene said.
Greene went on to say that several people have run her social media account, when pressed on “liking” a Facebook comment talking about killing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Greene also denied, under oath, that she ever called Pelosi a “traitor” until she was presented with evidence that she had, in fact, said that.
Fein asked at another point, “Is it fair to say that from election night in 2020, until January 6, 20, 2021, your wish was that congress not to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election?”
“That is not accurate,” she replied.
Bopp, Green’s attorney, also represents GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who is facing a similar challenge against his reelection from a group of voters in North Carolina.
Cawthorn’s lawsuit to dismiss the challenge to his reelection is set for oral arguments on May 3 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia.
In an interview Tuesday with ABC News affiliate WTVC-TV, Greene called the legal challenge a “scam.”
“All I did was what I’m legally and allowed to do by the Constitution as a member of Congress, and that was I objected to Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes from a few states,” Greene said.
Greene also said she was a “victim” on Jan. 6.
Mike Rasbury, one of the voters challenging Greene’s eligibility to run for reelection, said in a statement that Greene “took an oath of office to protect democracy from all enemies foreign and domestic … However, she has flippantly ignored this oath and, based on her role in the January 6 insurrection, is disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution from holding any future public office.”
Rasbury was in the courtroom while Greene testified.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida was also present in the courtroom Friday, in an apparent show of solidarity with his fellow firebrand Republican.
Speaking on Fox News Monday night, Greene told host Tucker Carlson that Democrats are trying to keep her name off the ballot, maintaining she had nothing to do with the attack on the Capitol.
“I have to go to court on Friday and actually be questioned about something I’ve never been charged with and something I was completely against,” Greene said.
The challenges against Greene and Cawthorn are part of a larger legal effort to prevent anyone allegedly involved in the events surrounding Jan. 6 — or who supported it — from running for reelection.
Similar challenges are being brought against GOP Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and theoretically could be brought against Trump if he decides to run for office again in 2024.
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