On Friday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stand to give a foggy recollection’s worth of testimony in an Atlanta court hearing over whether she should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment from running for re-election this fall.
If you have been hiding from the news for a while, Marjorie Taylor Greene is a fake business person who earned her money the old-fashioned way—her parents had a successful business that she inherited and then was bought out of. Since cherry-picking a blood-red enclave of Georgia to lay down her carpetbag, she has risen in the MAGA GOP, in no small part due to her shameless use of invective and fascist oratory.
The case against MTG is a simple one: Is she qualified, according to the Constitution, to hold public office? Today’s hearing is in response to a challenge from Free Speech For People, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to “reclaim our democracy” in the wake of Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporate influence of policy through campaign donations.
Free Speech for People are attempting to establish Greene’s disqualification from holding office in this hearing through Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which stipulates:
“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, or under any State, 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, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, 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.”
It’s compelling stuff. Rep. Greene is a mediocre liar, at best. In one exchange, Greene attempted to lie before realizing evidence was about to directly refute that lie. She retreats immediately, but the exchange is typical of interactions with Greene, and a clear window into how easily prosecutable people like Greene are.
After affirming that Greene and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi do not agree on a lot of things, the prosecutor gets to the point.
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Lawyer: In fact you think that Speaker Pelosi is a “traitor” to the country, right?
Greene looked off toward her lawyer, presumably, before attempting to evade the question by saying, “I’m not answering that question. It is speculation.” The lawyer for Free Speech For People tries to jog Greene’s memory, “You have said that, Ms. Greene. That she’s a traitor to the country, haven't you?” To which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lies:
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: No. No, I haven’t said that.
At this moment, the lawyer, without words, reminds Greene that she is in a court of law and this isn’t an appearance on some right-wing white supremacist softball news show. Greene shifts in a way that can only be described as “aggressively agitated” as the lawyer asks for a presentation of “plaintiff’s Exhibit 5, please.”
Before we can watch the video below, where Greene says Speaker Pelosi is “guilty of treason” and that her guilt is “punishable by death,” Ms. Greene says, “Oh, no, wait.” That’s the moment in the screenshot atop this story. She then says something about how she did maybe say that when she said Pelosi had violated her oath of office regarding immigration.
How? Who the fuck knows?
The entire exercise we are watching is whether or not our country can enforce our most fundamental laws of democracy.