Greene testifies as a witness in the marathon hearing – making her the first lawmaker to testify under oath about their involvement in the insurgency. She is currently on the stand, sworn in and being questioned by lawyers for the voter who challenged her candidacy.
At the disqualification hearing, Greene testified that she “was not aware of any attempt” to unlawfully interfere with the counting of electoral votes on January 6.
Greene also said she believes President Joe Biden lost the election to Trump.
“We’ve seen an enormous amount of voter fraud,” Greene said, repeating a debunked claim that has become a rallying cry among Trump supporters.
The outcome of this case will reverberate beyond Georgia as similar challenges are pending against other Republican officials and could be filed against former President Donald Trump if he runs again in 2024.
The GOP lawmaker is in the courtroom with one of her close congressional allies, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who sits with his legal team. Greene walked in to applause and cheers from the crowd gathered in the courtroom. A court security official quickly reprimanded the room and said the explosions would not be tolerated.
The case revolves around a Civil War-era provision of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that any U.S. official who takes an oath to uphold the Constitution is disqualified for future office if he “has engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against the same, or received aid or comfort from his enemies.” But how this applies to today is a much-debated legal question.
Lawyers for the challengers argued that Greene “helped facilitate violent resistance” against the US government and said they would use her own words against her, such as her strident rhetoric in the run-up to Jan. 6 that urged people to oppose the peaceful transition of power and to have a “1776 moment”.
“It was not the type of insurgency where the leaders stood in Richmond, Virginia, giving long speeches to justify the name,” said Ron Fein, an attorney for the challengers, from the legal defense group Free Speech For People. “Rather, it was the leaders of this insurgency, of whom there were many, who were among us on Facebook, on Twitter, on corners of social media to make your stomach ache. The evidence will show that Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of between them.”
The burden of proof will be on the challengers, to show on a “more likely than not” standard that January 6, 2021 was legally an insurrection, and that Greene aided the insurgents. State Judge Charles Beaudrot will preside over the administrative hearing and issue a recommendation to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on whether Greene should be disqualified.
Greene’s attorney, James Bopp Jr., in his opening statements condemned the proceedings and said Greene’s constitutional rights were violated. He also said Greene would be significantly hurt if she was disqualified before the May primary, only to win an appeal later, after the election is held.
“Our democracy is at stake. It shouldn’t be, it should be voters, not government workers, civil servants, judges and lawyers, who decide our elections,” Bopp said. “Voters have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice, unless there is a very compelling, not rhetorical, legal justification. Third, and that is not present here.”
Greene can appeal Raffensperger’s decision in state courts. She has vehemently denied any wrongdoing regarding the insurrection at the US Capitol, says she ‘never encouraged political violence’ and says she was not involved in planning any protests . His attorney told CNN he believed Friday’s hearing was a “show trial” and that the entire proceeding was a gross violation of his rights.
This story and headline were updated with additional developments on Friday.
CNN’s Christian Sierra and Sonnet Swire contributed to this report.