The lawyer who questioned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in a Georgia voters’ lawsuit challenging her right to run for reelection said Monday that he found it “shocking” how often she claimed under oath she couldn’t recall comments that millions of people know she made.
Asked by CNN’s “New Day” host John Berman if he thought Greene was guilty of perjury, attorney Andrew Celli Jr. said that that determination was up to the state administrative law judge who heard the case in Atlanta last week.
“I will say it stretches credulity that this woman can make these kind of statements, make them publicly on her Facebook page in front of her hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers, and millions of people who view her comments all the time, and then claim she doesn’t remember,” Celli said. “It’s shocking to me.”
Celli is representing a group of Georgia voters and the nonpartisan voters rights organization Free Speech for People in their action arguing that Greene should be barred from running for reelection because of the so-called insurrection disqualification clause of the Constitution.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars lawmakers who, after taking an oath to “support the Constitution,” then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies.” The section was added after the Civil War to prohibit lawmakers from representing a government they had wanted to see toppled.
Greene repeatedly said on the stand Friday that she could not remember some of her most memorable statements, including urging that the 2020 presidential election be overturned and that a peaceful transfer of power be blocked. After several questions, Celli called up social media messages or videos in which Greene said exactly what he had asked about.
In one remarkable moment, Greene initially said she could not remember calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a traitor. As Celli cued up a video, she said, “Oh, no, wait. Hold on now.” She then claimed Pelosi had broken her oath of office by not keeping out immigrants.
“I’m not interested in her oath of office. I’m interested in that you said she’s a traitor to our country,” Celli responded. Then he played a video of Greene saying Pelosi was guilty of “treason,” which is “punishable by death.”
Asked which action posed the biggest threat to Greene’s right to run for reelection, Celli said it was the congresswoman calling for a “1776 moment,” referring to the American Revolution, the day before the attack on the U.S. Capitol last year. The term “1776 moment” was being used by extremists like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to refer to a violent overthrow of the presidential election that Joe Biden had won.
“People understood that ′1776′ was code for ‘break into the Capitol, do violence, and, most importantly, block the certification of Joe Biden.’ That is an act of insurrection. And we demonstrated and proved that,” Celli stated.
Celli referred to other actions by Greene that have recently come to light that could have further helped the case.
According to text messages provided to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that were obtained by CNN on Monday, Greene discussed the imposition of martial law with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and told him: “We have to get organized for the 6th.”
Asked about the chances that Greene will ultimately be blocked from reelection, Celli answered: “There’s partisanship in our country, that’s very clear. But I’ve committed my life as a lawyer to the belief that the rule of law will prevail in the end, and I think we have the rule of law on our side.”