What to know about Friday’s January 6-focused hearing on the bid to disqualify Marjorie Taylor Greene


(CNN)The effort to disqualify lawmakers who allegedly encouraged the January 6 Capitol attack takes a major step forward Friday with a hearing on the bid to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the ballot this year.

Greene is one of multiple Republican lawmakers who have been targeted with disqualification petitions citing a constitutional amendment barring lawmakers from serving in office if they participated in an Insurrection. The effort is unprecedented and could bring new insight to the conduct of those who supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election — even as the challengers have faced an uphill battle to remove Greene and other lawmakers from the ballot.

Greene — who denies the allegations that she encouraged the violence on January 6, 2021 — is vigorously pushing back on the effort, having already sought to block it in federal court.

    Here is what to know about Friday’s hearing, which is currently underway in a Georgia court.

      Why is Greene’s candidacy being challenged?

        Left-wing advocacy groups –– who are working with local voters in Greene’s Georgia district — are seeking to remove Greene from the ballot as part of a larger campaign to use the Constitution’s 14th Amendment to hold accountable those lawmakers who allegedly boosted the violent disruption to Congress’ certification of the 2020 election. The 14th Amendment says any American official who takes an oath to uphold the Constitution is disqualified from holding any future office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

        Greene unsuccessfully tried to block the disqualification bid in federal court, where her arguments were rejected by US District Judge Amy Totenberg earlier this week, clearing the way for Friday’s proceedings to move forward.

          In their filings with the state officials who will be weighing the disqualification bid, the challengers argued that Greene’s inflammatory rhetoric encouraged the violence on January 6, and they pointed to one video she posted to social media in which she rejected a peaceful transfer of power that made Joe Biden president. Claiming that the disqualification attempt is an unconstitutional witch hunt, Greene has denied wrongdoing and says she would never encourage political violence.

          What is happening at Friday’s hearing?

          At a hearing in in front of a state administrative law judge, lawyers for the challengers are presenting evidence that they say show Greene’s role in encouraging the assault on the Capitol. Greene has taken the stand, where her challengers will be able to question her about her conduct. An expert witness was tapped by the challengers to testify about the historical context around the 14th Amendment. The challengers have put forward video and other evidence to flesh out their case as well.

          Marjorie Taylor Greene wants everyone to just get over January 6

          Later, Greene will be able to put up a defense, but it is unclear what exactly that stage of the proceedings will look like. During opening statements, her lawyer James Bopp Jr. said the effort risks “irrevocable harm to the voters and to the candidate” — particularly if Greene is removed from the ballot for the May primaries only for the disqualification to be reversed on appeal.

          Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, will decide whether Greene will be disqualified at this stage of the proceedings, though she will be able to appeal a decision to disqualify her in state court. Judge Charles Beaudrot, the state administrative law judge presiding over Friday’s hearing, will issue a recommendation to Raffensperger after Friday’s proceedings.

          How likely is this to be successful?

          The current effort to disqualify Greene and others alleged to have roles in the insurrection does not resemble the usual way disqualification statutes are wielded. The state laws being used to trigger the proceedings are typically used when a candidate is accused of not residing in her or her district, or in other more mundane contexts.

          Similar bids to remove North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks from the ballot have failed to gain traction. A federal judge granted a request from Cawthorn to halt the disqualification proceedings against — though that ruling is now being reviewed by a federal appeals court. Likewise, a state commission in Indiana rejected the effort to disqualify Banks. It’s notable Greene’s disqualification bid has made it to this evidentiary stage, but it will still be an uphill climb to remove her from the ballot.

          Supporters of the effort say that, regardless of whether Greene is ultimately disqualified, Friday’s proceedings are significant for how they’ll bring deeper scrutiny to her conduct around January 6.

            In his opening statement, Ron Fein, the lawyer representing the challengers, previewed a case that would show how Greene “urged and encouraged and helped facilitate violent resistance through our own government, our democracy and our Constitution.”

            Meanwhile, Bopp said that her defense will trace her conduct in the days before and during January 6, including a social media post she published while the attack as underway where she encouraged her followers to “Be safe, be smart, stay peaceful, obey the laws.”

            CNN’s Marshall Cohen contributed reporting.