“Marshall Law”: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Testimony On Jan. 6 (UPDATED)

By Terrance Turner

April 22, 2022 (updated April 25)

Today, House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is testifying in an Atlanta courtroom over a challenge to her candidacy. A group of Georgia voters in her district say that she should be disqualified from running for re-election because of her role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The voters say Greene’s social media posts helped fuel the attack; they argue that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution has a “disqualification clause” that prevents her from holding federal office.

According to ABC News, the clause, passed during the Civil War, bars any person from holding federal office if they have taken an oath to protect the Constitution and then participate in an insurrection. That statute reads, in part: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States […] who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature […] to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

From the Library of Congress.

Lawyers for the challengers say that Greene ‘helped facilitate violent resistance” against the U.S. government. “She was involved in either planning the attack on January 6, or alternatively the planning of the pre-attack demonstration and/or march with knowledge that it was substantially likely to lead to the attack,” the challengers wrote in a 42-page filing, per CNN.

Greene’s lawyers called the challenge” absurd”, but there is evidence that Greene was involved on some level with coordination in the days leading up to Jan. 6. Rolling Stone quoted two sources (referred to as a rally organizer and a planner) who say Greene was among several lawmakers that they met with prior to the Capitol riot.

The two sources, both of whom were granted anonymity due to an ongoing investigation, describe participating in “dozens” of planning briefings ahead of the day when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol as his election loss to President Joe Biden was being certified. “I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” the organizer says. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs.”

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Today, Greene took the stand — making her the first member of Congress to testify under oath about her role in the events of Jan. 6. She said she had “no knowledge of any attempt” to interfere with the election certification that day.

Rolling Stone noted that “instead of denying her involvement, Greene repeatedly said she didn’t recall any conversations she might have had regarding what was to come on Jan. 6. She was first asked if she talked to anyone in the government about whether there would be protests that day.”

“I don’t remember,” she said. “We were mostly reading information about election fraud and people signed affidavits what they’d witnessed with voter fraud, and preparing to object. That’s pretty much all I remember.”

“Pretty much, but your testimony as you sit here today under oath is that you didn’t talk to anybody in government about the fact that there were going to be large protests in Washington on Jan. 6?” asked Ron Fein, the attorney representing the challengers.

“I don’t remember,” Greene replied.

She was asked if she talked to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)

“I don’t remember.”

She was asked if she talked to Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

“Sorry, I don’t remember.”

What about anyone in the White House?

“I don’t remember.”

Did she hear anyone mention the potential for violence on Jan. 6?

“I don’t remember.”

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“Is it fair to say that from Election Night until January 6th, your personal opinion and your wish was that Congress not certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election?” Greene was asked.

“No, that’s not accurate,” she replied. But a video reveals Greene saying, “America re-elected Donald Trump for four more years. You can’t just allow it to transfer power peacefully, like Joe Biden wants, and allow him to become president.”

The challengers claim her social media posts helped fuel the violence on Jan. 6, therefore aiding the insurrection. But Greene denied that. “I only believe in peaceful demonstration,” she said today. “I do not support violence.”

Her posts tell a different story. In Jan. 2019, Greene circulated a petition to impeach House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for “crimes of treason” and liked a Facebook comment saying, “A bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Pelosi. Andrew Celli, lawyer for the challengers, asked her, “Did you like a post that said, ‘it’s quicker that a bullet to the head would be a quicker way to remove Nancy Pelosi from the role of Speaker?'”

“I have had many people manage my social media account over the years,” Greene answered. “I have no idea who liked that.”

Screenshot from CNN.

Additionally, in January 2019 Greene recorded videos supporting her petition to remove Pelosi. “She’s a traitor to our country, she’s guilty of treason,” Greene says in the video, which she posted on Facebook at the time. “She took an oath to protect American citizens and uphold our laws. And she gives aid and comfort to our enemies who illegally invade our land. That’s what treason is. And by our law representatives and senators can be kicked out and no longer serve in our government. And it’s, uh, it’s a crime punishable by death, is what treason is. Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason.”

Today, in her testimony, Greene was asked about her views on Pelosi. Asked by Fein whether she’s had disagreements with the Speaker, Greene admitted that, “politically speaking, that would be correct.” Fein went further: “In fact, you think Speaker Pelosi is a traitor to the country, right?”

“I’m not answering that question,” Greene smiled. “It’s speculation…”

“You’ve said that, haven’t you, Ms. Greene? That she’s a traitor to the country?”

“No, I haven’t said that,” Greene replied.

“OK,” Fein answered. “Put up plaintiff’s exhibit 5, please.”

“Oh, no,” Greene said. “Wait. Hold on now…”

Perhaps Greene was trying to stop the exhibition of the evidence — the now-deleted video in which she calls Pelosi a traitor. But it’s still there on Twitter:

Another contradictory moment occurred when she was asked, “Did you talk to people at the White House about the fact that there were going to be large demonstrations on January 6th, in Washington?”

“I don’t remember,” Greene said. But a video from Dec. 2020 contradicts that. In the video, Greene walks down steps towards a camera and telegraphs her intentions. “Just finished with our meetings here at the White House this afternoon. We had a great planning session for January 6th,” she said.

Greene apparently doesn’t recall using the phrase “1776 moment”, either.

Georgetown University law professor Neal Katva appeared on MSNBC this afternoon and offered a withering view of Greene and her testimony. “This is a national embarrassment of a person,” he said of Greene. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more forgetful witness. I mean, she could barely remember her name, let alone any of her tweets. I mean, she was more frogetful than Harold Kumar were when they were stoned out of their minds.”

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According to NPR, “Next, a Georgia administrative law judge will lay out the facts of the case and make a recommendation to the Georgia secretary of state, Republican Brad Raffensperger, about whether Greene should remain on the ballot. Raffensperger is up for reelection himself and faces a high-profile GOP primary challenge, so he may be hesitant to make political waves by pulling Greene from the ballot before the May 24 primary.”

UPDATE (APRIL 25, 2022): Texts sent by Greene further undermine parts of her testimony. CNN has obtained 2,319 text messages sent and received by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, some of which undermine Greene’s testimony last week. (The texts were turned over by Meadows as part of his cooperation with the Jan. 6 investigation committee.)

Rep. Greene claimed Friday that she couldn’t remember what she had said or told people in regards to Jan. 6. But the texts obtained by CNN belie that. In one text from January 6th, Greene makes a plea for help as the attack on the Capitol commences. “Mark I was just told there is an active shooter on the first floor of the Capitol Please tell the President to calm people[.] This isn’t the way to solve anything,” Greene wrote. Meadows does not appear to reply.

The next day, Greene appeared defeated, writing to Meadows to apologize. “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked. I don’t think that President Trump caused the attack on the Capitol. It’s not his fault,” Greene wrote the morning of January 7. “Absolutely no excuse and I fully denounce all of it, but after shut downs all year and a stolen election, people are saying that they have no other choice.”

Ten days later, Greene texted Meadows: “In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall (sic) law. I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him. They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, martial law involves the temporary substitution of military authority for civilian rule; it is usually invoked in times of war, rebellion, or natural disaster. “When martial law is in effect, the military commander of an area or country has unlimited authority to make and enforce laws. Martial law is justified when civilian authority has ceased to function, is completely absent, or has become ineffective. Further, martial law suspends all existing laws, as well as civil authority and the ordinary administration of justice. In the United States, martial law may be declared by proclamation of the President or a State governor, but such a formal proclamation is not necessary.”

Greene testified Friday that she could not recall whether she’d urged the president to declare martial law.

Today, CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked Greene about her memory lapses, resulting in a tense exchange caught on camera. While walking outside, Acosta asked Greene about the martialaw text: “You don’t seem to recall a lot. What’s going on there?”

“You know, Jim, you have a show and in all fairness, you try to present this image of me to your viewers,” Greene said, “and it’s just really not correct.”

“Well, we’re just trying to get some answers,” Acosta replied. “Did you send a text asking the President to declare martial law? Did you do that?”

“I — you know, I don’t recall those being my text messages. But have you read the text message that is — that you’re referring to?”

I did,” Acosta responds. “I saw–”

“And I said,” Greene starts,”‘Cause it actually says–”

“It was misspelled, but–”

“But it actually says, if you read it correctly, Jim — see, that’s your problem, is that you’re lying again right now — it says, ‘I do not know on those things.’ That’s what that text message actually says.

“Why did you bring it up?” Acosta asks. “Why even bring it up? Why bring up martial law?”

Greene responded by calling him a liar: “You know, your problem is, you’re just another one of those liars on television. And people hate it. They can’t stand the liars on television.”

“I’m not the one saying, ‘I don’t recall. I don’t recall.’,” Acosta shot back.

Video of the exchange is provided below.

“In our private chat with only mentions

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