Home Advocate US Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene unsure if she advocates violence

US Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene unsure if she advocates violence

5
0

April 22 (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene told a lawyer for voters seeking to block her from running for re-election on Friday that she did not know how to answer the question of whether she advocated violence against people she disagreed with. .

Greene testified in Georgia state court in Atlanta in a new legal challenge to his candidacy accusing him of violating a provision of the US Constitution called the “insurgent disqualification clause” by supporting an incendiary rally that preceded last year’s attack on the US Capitol.

Andrew Celli, a voters’ attorney, asked Greene during the hearing before Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot if she advocated political violence against people she disagreed with.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

“I don’t think so,” Greene replied. “I don’t know what to say to that.”

Greene is a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump. In comments to the media, she downplayed and justified the January 6, 2021, onslaught of the Capitol by Trump supporters in their failed bid to block Congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

At the previous rally, Trump told his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell,” repeating his false claims that the election was stolen by widespread voter fraud. Trump supporters attacked police, ransacked parts of the Capitol and sent lawmakers into hiding for their own safety.

“I was asking people to come out for a peaceful march, which everyone has the right to do,” Greene told the hearing. “I was not asking them to actively engage in violence.”

The Constitutional Clause, added after the American Civil War of the 1860s, prohibits politicians from running for Congress if they have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” or “provided aid or comfort” to enemies of nation.

Greene, who represents a Georgia district in the US House of Representatives, is seeking re-election this year, with the Republican primary scheduled for May 24 and the general election on November 8.

Celli also questioned Greene about a video she recorded in 2019, before taking office, calling US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “traitor”. Greene initially denied making the statement, but later admitted it under questioning by Celli and the judge.

Greene’s attorney argued that the statement was “hyperbole” and irrelevant to the case.

The voter challenge is led by a group called Free Speech for People which advocates for campaign finance reform. A similar challenge backed by the same group against Republican U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn failed when a federal judge in North Carolina dismissed the suit on March 4.

Ron Fein, an advocate for the voters seeking Greene’s disqualification, said in his opening remarks that the congresswoman played a “significant role” in inciting the attack on the US Capitol.

“In some cases, the mask falls off and she shows us exactly what she wanted,” Fein said.

Greene’s attorney, James Bopp, argued during his opening remarks that removing her from the ballot would be both unfair to her and to voters in her conservative-leaning district. Greene is expected to appeal any ruling against her and has already filed a parallel lawsuit in US federal court seeking an end to the administrative proceedings.

In a recent court filing, attorneys for Greene said she “vigorously denies aiding and participating in an insurrection to obstruct the peaceful transfer of presidential power.”

“Fundamentally, First Amendment rights are at stake, not just the right to vote, as I mentioned, or the right to run for office,” Bopp said during the hearing, referring to the protections of the freedom of expression of the Constitution.

Mail-in ballots will begin mailing on April 25.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham, Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.