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Georgia officials rule that Marjorie Taylor Greene can remain on the ballot

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene prepares to testify on April 22 in Atlanta.
John Bazemore
/
AP
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene prepares to testify on April 22 in Atlanta.

Updated May 6, 2022 at 6:00 PM ET

Officials in Georgia have ruled that Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene should remain on the ballot for reelection, after a group of voters and a supporting legal group filed a formal challenge to her candidacy for her role in the Capitol riot.

On Friday, a state administrative judge said that the lawyers challenging Greene's run failed to prove that she engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

The plaintiffs had asked the state to disqualify Greene, citing a provision in the Constitution that forbids members of Congress who support an insurrection from serving in office.

Later on Friday, Georgia's secretary of state, Republican Brad Raffensperger, who had final say, announced that he would follow the judge's recommendation.

"The evidence in this matter is insufficient to establish that Rep. Greene ... 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion' under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution," Judge Charles Beaudrot wrote in his ruling. "Therefore, the Court holds that Respondent is qualified to be a candidate for Representative for Georgia's 14th Congressional District."

The plaintiffs could try to appeal the decision.

In a tweet after Beaudrot's ruling, Greene wrote: "ACQUITTED."

Greene testified under oath last month, answering a slew of questions about the days leading up to Jan. 6 with "I don't recall" or "I don't remember."

In one instance, asked by the plaintiffs' lawyers whether she spoke with then-President Donald Trump, White House staff or other members of Congress about activating martial law, Greene testified that she could not remember.

Days later, CNN reported on a trove of text messages purportedly from then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. They included a text from Greene, who wrote that some members of Congress had raised invoking martial law.

While on the witness stand, the congresswoman reiterated baseless claims about election fraud, and repeatedly said that her charged rhetoric ahead of Jan. 6 referred to challenging the electoral count, not a call for violence.

Copyright 2022 90.1 WABE

Sam Gringlas is a journalist at NPR's All Things Considered. In 2020, he helped cover the presidential election with NPR's Washington Desk and has also reported for NPR's business desk covering the workforce. He's produced and reported with NPR from across the country, as well as China and Mexico, covering topics like politics, trade, the environment, immigration and breaking news. He started as an intern at All Things Considered after graduating with a public policy degree from the University of Michigan, where he was the managing news editor at The Michigan Daily. He's a native Michigander.