Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s incendiary rhetoric may finally be catching up with her, and one tweet she posted last year could now prevent her from seeking a second term in Congress.
On Friday, Greene will testify under oath about her involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as part of a lawsuit challenging her eligibility to seek re-election under the Constitution’s ban on insurrectionists and rebels running for office.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress…who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same,” reads Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Greene was permanently banned from Twitter for repeatedly pushing Covid misinformation, but not before she implicated herself in Donald Trump‘s coup attempt.
Ron Fein is the attorney who will question Greene on Friday, and told MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin:
“As you know, I cannot give a sneak preview of the questions that we are going to ask a hostile witness, but even before we ask a single question, we know four things already,” Fein said. “One is that she called for Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to be executed for treason. She told her followers that they could not allow a peaceful transfer of power.”
Then he pointed to a specific tweet Greene posted the day before the attack, on January 5:
“She worked with the planners of some of the events of Jan. 6th and then the day before the attack, she signaled to her followers a code word, meant to storm federal buildings and supposedly overthrow tyrants. So, we are going to ask her about all of that and more,” he said.
In the tweet, Greene referred to the attempt to block the Electoral College’s certification of the 2020 election as Republicans’ “1776 moment.”
The complaint against her alleges:
‘1776’ was used as a codeword for violence in the run-up to January 6. For instance, Ali Alexander, a violent extremist who listed Representative Greene as a speaker at his January 6 event, and referred to Greene as a ‘friend,’ replied to a tweet by Greene on December 30, 2020, promising that ‘1776 is *always* an option’ if objections to certification were blocked. The responses indicate it was understood as a call to storm the Capitol.
Alexander increasingly used references to ‘1776’ between December 30 and January 6 as a call for violence if Trump was not installed as president for another four years,” the complaint continues. “By this time, it was well known that events Alexander planned and promoted developed into violence. Similarly, Enrique Tarrio, until recently the leader of the ‘Proud Boys,’ had on hand a detailed plan for the far-right extremist group to distract police, swarm federal buildings, and obstruct their functioning. The title of the document describing the plan was ‘1776 Returns.’
Greene’s references to ‘1776,’ made two days after she took the oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, had a specific meaning to her intended audience, when taken in the context of her well-known history of advocating political violence, the widespread use of ‘1776’ by violent extremists as a codeword for violence and for storming government buildings, and the widespread reports of planned violence on the Capitol. Specifically, her remarks had the intent and effect of signaling to her supporters that she was calling not for peaceful protest, but for violent resistance, to a peaceful transfer of power to the president-elect, in defiance of the Constitution.
The judge in the lawsuit has allowed press to broadcast Friday’s proceedings live, which appears to have Greene rattled.
“They’re going to allow the press in the courtroom. They’re going to allow the whole thing to be videoed live. … You know what that’s going to look like. The Democrats and the nasty mainstream media … are going to be able to twist and turn and clip out any little piece they want,” she said on Tuesday on The Jennis Ellis Show, hosted by Trump’s former election attorney.