The far-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared in court in Georgia on Friday for a hearing in an attempt to bar her from Congress for aiding the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
The 14th amendment to the US Constitution is part of the effort to bar Greene, brought by a coalition of voters and liberal groups. Passed after the civil war, it was written to prevent anyone from sitting in Congress if they had engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the constitution or given aid or comfort to the enemies of the enemy. Some people in the room in Atlanta cheered and applauded as Greene took her seat. Greene said that only the people have the right to choose who they send to Congress. Matt Gaetz of Florida, another far-right Republican congressman and prominent Donald Trump supporter, was also pictured in the room, and tweeted: "I m here in Atlanta to support Greene against the assault on the democracy that is this effort to remove her from the ballot. Supporters of Trump attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to stop his defeat by Joe Biden, an attack mounted in service of the 45th president s lies about electoral fraud.
A bipartisan Senate committee connected seven deaths to the riot. More than 100 law enforcement officers were hurt. Some 800 people, including members of the far-right and militia groups, have been charged with seditious conspiracy. There is an investigation in the house.
Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection, but acquitted when Senate Republicans stayed loyal.
Organisers of events in Washington on January 6 said Greene communicated with them. Greene denies such links, and said she does not encourage violence.
In October she told a podcast hosted by Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist: January 6 was just a riot at the Capitol and if you think about what our Declaration of Independence says, it says to overthrow tyrants. After the riots, Greene was one of 147 Republicans in Congress who went ahead with objections to results in battleground states.
An effort to use the 14th amendment against Madison Cawthorn, a Trump ally from North Carolina, was unsuccessful, after a judge ruled that an 1872 civil war amnesty law was not merely retroactive.
In Greene's case, a federal judge said the law of 1872 did not apply.
The hearing opened with a presentation in Greene's defence and extensive questioning from her opponents of a historian about what the 14th amendment means and about past rebellions, including the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, which was quashed by George Washington.