Politics

What Else Does Marjorie Taylor Greene “Not Recall” About Jan. 6?

Marjorie Taylor Greene sits at a desk cocking her head as she looks at a piece of paper
Oh, now I remember! John Bazemore/Pool/Getty Images

On Monday, CNN reported on a number of text exchanges that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had with various conservatives in the days between the 2020 election and the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

One message stuck out as particularly relevant following a hearing last week in Georgia.

The hearing was about whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should be disqualified from office under the 14th Amendment for supporting the insurrectionists on Jan. 6. The message was one in which Greene asked Meadows about the possibility that the president might invoke martial law to block Biden from taking the oath of office just three days before the inauguration.

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During her testimony on Friday, Greene testified that she could “not recall” whether she had ever had such a conversation with Donald Trump’s chief of staff, or anyone in the White House including the former president.

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It’s not just that Greene may have perjured herself in that testimony—a real possibility. It’s that proof of this exchange raises a number of questions about how far those conversations about martial law went, how serious they were, who else might have been involved, and what else was considered by Trump.

Here’s the video of Greene in court:

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And here’s a transcript of how the questioning by attorney Andrew G. Celli Jr. went:

Celli Jr.: The question was whether prior to the inauguration of Joe Biden, Ms. Greene, whether you ever advocated for martial law to be imposed in a conversation with the chief of staff of then President of the United States Mr. Trump.

Greene: I don’t recall.

Celli Jr.: Did you ever advocate for martial law prior to the inauguration of Mr. Biden with any member of the White House staff that was part of the Trump administration?

Greene: I don’t recall.

Celli Jr.: Are you aware of any other congressional representatives advocating for martial law to stop the peaceful transfer of power before the inauguration of Mr. Biden?

Greene: I don’t remember.

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And here’s Greene’s text to Meadows, dated Jan. 17, 2020, as reported by CNN:

In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall law. I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him. They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!

This is clear evidence that, despite saying she didn’t recall it, Greene had a conversation with the White House chief of staff in which she seems to have advocated for martial law and acknowledged that other members of Congress had done so.

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As others have noted, it seems like those are conversations you’d remember.

Indeed, over the course of her three-hour testimony, Greene responded that she could not “remember” or that she did not “recall” dozens of times. It’s worth considering the other areas where Greene’s memory failed in order to get a better insight into just how much further the coup attempt went than what we already know.

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• Greene was asked whether or not she advocated for martial law in direct conversations with Trump in the weeks between the election and the inauguration. She responded: “I don’t recall ever discussing that.”

• Greene was asked if she had any conversations with anyone about the demonstrations planned for Jan. 6 prior to that day. She testified “I do not remember” any of them.

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• Greene was asked if she had conversations with anyone in government—and specifically Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, or people in the White House—about the Jan. 6 demonstrations in advance of the day. “I do not remember,” she repeatedly testified.

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• Greene was asked if anyone mentioned to her the possibility that there might be violence on Jan. 6 in advance of that day. “I don’t remember those conversations,” she testified.

• Greene was asked if “anybody in government—representatives, senators, White House staff, the president of the United States at the time” mentioned to her the “risk that people coming to Washington for Jan. 6 demonstrations might become violent.” She responded: “I don’t recall.”

Notably, Greene didn’t say “I don’t recall” to every question. When she was asked about a rumor that she and her staff had given tours to insurrectionists and provided them with maps of the Capitol in advance of Jan. 6, she flatly denied the charge. She also denied any advance knowledge that people were planning to enter the Capitol, saying, “No, absolutely not, I don’t know anything about that.”

All of this is to say: Greene remembered things that were exonerating to her and seemed to forget at least one very damning piece of evidence. It’s possible we’ll soon find out that other things she swore under penalty of perjury she could “not recall” happening also happened. In fact, those answers may be coming sooner than we think: The House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack is due to hold hearings as early as June.

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