Marjorie Taylor Greene defiant, forgetful in court challenge to reelection eligibility

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene testified she couldn’t recall a lot of things at her hearing Friday in state court. She is fending off a challenge filed by voters who say she should be kicked off the May 24 ballot because she helped stir up the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that disrupted certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene took the stand Friday in an at-times raucous court hearing that incorporated a history lesson on the Whiskey rebellion and a stirring speech from a president fighting off an extraterrestrial invasion.

Greene was in the hot seat because a group of voters say she should not be allowed to run for re-election because they say she helped plan the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. It was the first questioning under oath of a sitting lawmaker about events leading up to the attack on the Capitol intended to interrupt certification of the 2020 presidential election.

They are seeking to invoke a provision of the 14th Amendment adopted in the wake of the Civil War barring insurrectionists from running for office.

Greene vociferously denied any foreknowledge of the riot but answered many of the questions put to her about her meetings and social media posts around that time with “I don’t know” or “I do not recall.”

Attorneys representing the voters sought to characterize the Jan. 6 riot as akin to pre-Civil War uprisings including Shays’ Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1800s.

“These insurrections were of a different character,” said attorney Ron Fein. “They were not quite as organized as the Civil War. The foot soldiers of those insurrections didn’t march in armies, they didn’t conquer vast swaths of territory, and they certainly didn’t wear uniforms. That is the kind of insurrection that occurred on Jan. 6.”

Judge Charles Beaudrot listens to arguments in the courtroom, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)

The attorneys invited Indiana University professor Gerard Magliocca to testify as an expert witness about how the framers of the 14th Amendment would have conceptualized the idea of insurrection, but Judge Charles Beaudrot expressed skepticism in the relevance of the testimony.

“This is what I would expect to be reading during briefs,” he said. “This is not what I expect to hear testimony on. This is historical data that can be reviewed and commented on, proffered and so forth. I’m indulging you because (of) the importance of this hearing.”

The attorneys sought to use Greene’s past interviews and social media posts as ammunition against her, including a speech in which she suggested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be executed for treason posted before Greene’s election.

Greene’s attorneys dismissed such statements as political hyperbole protected by the First Amendment and said they should not be considered as evidence in any case because they were made before she was sworn into office Jan. 3, 2021. The provision in the 14th Amendment Greene is being targeted with applies to people who have sworn an oath to defend the constitution before participating in an insurrection, which would mean prosecutors would have to show she participated in the insurrection between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6 of that year.

They pointed to a Jan. 5 interview in which Greene predicted a “1776 moment” the following day. Read more

In Georgia, Herschel Walker enters GOP field challenging Sen. Warnock, with backing from political operatives previously active in NC

 Georgia football legend Herschel Walker is ready to campaign to represent the GOP in his home state’s 2022 U.S. Senate race. He was a speaker at the 2020 Republican convention that nominated former President Donald Trump. (Photo: Getty Images)

This story originally ran in the Georgia Recorder, a publication of the States Newsroom, of which NC Policy Watch is also a part. 

Herschel Walker, the University of Georgia football star-turned Donald Trump ally, has launched a campaign to be Georgia’s next Republican U.S. Senator, challenging Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Walker’s entry in the race ends months of speculation that the Trump friend would reshape the race, which is likely to be hard-fought and expensive for both sides as Republicans seek to shake off the pain caused by Warnock’s upset win in January and Democrats try to hang onto the gains made in the once reliably red state.

His newly formed campaign announced Wednesday morning that Walker will formally kick off his bid for the Senate with a video later in the day.

“Our country is at a crossroads, and I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore,” Walker said in a statement released by his campaign. “America is the greatest country in the world, but too many politicians in Washington are afraid to say that.

“I have lived the American Dream, but I am concerned it is slipping away for many people,” he added. “In the United States Senate, I will stand up for conservative values and get our country moving in the right direction. It is time to have leaders in Washington who will fight to protect the American Dream for everybody.”

Walker grew up in rural Wrightsville, Georgia, but has lived in Texas for years after scoring big dividends for the Dallas Cowboys.

Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission establishing “Team Herschel, Inc.” includes the names of several players in right-wing politics, including an email address for Stefan Passantino, an attorney who served as former Deputy White House Counsel for ethics policy in the Trump administration. Alpharetta Republican operative Jason Boles is listed as the committee’s treasurer.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office lists Boles as registered agent for Republican political organizations and PACs, including U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Save America Stop Socialism PAC and Greene for Congress.

Boles, who is listed as the Walker committee’s treasurer, works for RTA Strategy, a political management firm owned by Rick Thompson, a member of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. An RTA Strategy email address is listed as the primary contact for the new committee, and its physical address is located at the Buckhead home of Walker’s wife, who is under secretary of state investigation for allegedly voting in Georgia despite living in Texas.

As NC Policy Watch reported last year, Boles and Thompson were among those behind a sprawling scheme by conservative groups with ties to the Trump administration to entrap several North Carolina nonpartisan voter education nonprofits into violating election laws.

Tougher opponents than linebackers

That investigation is just the beginning of what could be a major headache for some mainstream Republicans who hoped Walker would stay on the sidelines. Read more