On April 26 2022, screenshots spread of a viral tweet claiming that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) inadvertently insisted that a statement objecting to a “peaceful transfer of power” be entered into evidence during an April 22 2022 hearing; the same tweet was shared to Imgur on the same day (in a post titled “Perjury Taylor Greene”):
After she complained about a partial video being played, the Judge ordered that the entire video be played….it started with: "We can't allow the transfer of power to happen peacefully." ~ @repmtg which had not been previously offered into evidence. 😂🤣😂
— Sgt Joker (@TheSGTJoker) April 22, 2022
The April 22 2022 tweet said:
After [Taylor Greene] complained about a partial video being played, the Judge ordered that the entire video be played … it started with: “We can’t allow the transfer of power to happen peacefully.” ~ @repmtg which had not been previously offered into evidence. 😂🤣😂
That tweet included a claim, but it required some background context.
Marjorie Taylor Greene’s April 22 2022 Hearing
Greene testified at an April 22 2022 hearing, the purpose of which was to determine her eligibility to seek office due to her involvement with the January 6 2021 Capitol insurrection.
CNN’s “What’s going on with Marjorie Taylor Greene and the 14th Amendment” summarized:
The hearing about whether to disqualify her from seeking reelection took place on [April 22 2022] — before CNN published text messages on [April 25 2022] in which Greene, in the weeks after Election Day 2020, suggested to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that then-President Donald Trump could declare martial law to change the results of the presidential election … The challenge to Greene’s candidacy was initiated by a group of Georgia voters who are working with liberal activists and constitutional scholars.
Why would Greene be disqualified from holding office?
There is a provision of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution that bars officeholders who take part in or assist an insurrection from ever holding office again.
In the popular tweet, Twitter user @TheSGTJoker described a purported exchange during Taylor Greene’s April 22 2022 testimony.
The tweet from @TheSGTJoker claimed that Greene objected to opposing counsel playing a partial video. In the partial video, Greene told viewers they could not allow a “peaceful transfer of power” from former U.S. President Donald Trump to Joe Biden, the winner of the 2020 election and at that point the president-elect.
According to the user, Greene’s objection to a partial video being played led the hearing’s judge to declare that the entire video must be played. Further, the entirety of the video had, to that point, not been entered into evidence in the hearing.
The above-linked CNN summary mentioned the exchange in passing, noting that the video footage contradicted Greene more than once:
[Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene] said she didn’t remember saying she opposed the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden — right before lawyers for the challengers played a video of her saying just that. She denied calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “traitor” who might deserve the death penalty, but backtracked and acknowledged the comment when the challengers started to play the footage.
In short, the strategy presumably backfired, as the longer clip was more incriminating that the shorter version.
Did Marjorie Taylor Greene Object to a Partial Video, Opening the Door to Introduce the Entire Video into Evidence?
An April 22 2022 Newsweek.com liveblog of the hearing included a section titled “Video Shows Greene Objecting [to] Peaceful Transfer of Power,” reporting in part:
In another video presented by the prosecution Friday [April 22 2022], Greene is heard saying Joe Biden didn’t win the 2020 Presidential election and objecting against a stolen election.
“You can’t allow it to just transfer power ‘peacefully’ like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our president,” Greene said in the video. “Because he did not win this election. It’s being stolen and the evidence is there.”
Greene said the video was chopped and not in full. Upon playing further, Greene is heard saying an effort is being organized to object, “we aren’t a people who are going to go quietly into the night.”
[Prosecutor Andrew] Celli asked if Greene borrowed the line “quietly into the night” from Independence Day, Greene said she didn’t know what he was referring to. Celli then played a clip from the movie in court.
On the same day, political commentator Brian Tyler Cohen shared a 61-second long clip to Twitter in which Greene made the remarks about a peaceful transfer of power. In the same video, Greene stated that “we aren’t a people who are going to go quietly into the night”:
If you're wondering whether or not Marjorie Taylor Greene should be in court today to determine if she should be disqualified from the ballot for engaging in insurrection, just remember that she herself posted the evidence.
"You can't allow it to just transfer power peacefully." pic.twitter.com/u0Nfx0Sqft
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) April 22, 2022
The questioner is delighted to play the entire tape.
— Teri Kanefield (@Teri_Kanefield) April 22, 2022
We were unable to locate a transcript of the exchange, but it appeared in a C-SPAN video that was nearly six hours long; partial transcriptions appeared under the video. The described exchange appeared at around 3:26.
Prosecutor Andrew Celli played a short clip of Greene saying:
This is an important time in our history. We cannot allow this to be gone. You cannot allow it to just transfer power peacefully like Joe Biden wants and allow him to be our president. He did not win this election. It is being stolen and the evidence is there.
In response, C-SPAN captions indicated Taylor Greene said:
… You’re watching a partial video and a partial statement of clearly an interview I was doing. I do not know what day it was on and it is [definitely] off someone else’s Twitter or Facebook. I cannot see it from here.
After that, there was an exchange between Judge Charles Beaudrot and prosecutor Andrew Celli. In that segment, Beaudrot proposed giving Greene the opportunity to view the entire clip in response to her claim that the short version had been removed from its proper context:
[Beaudrot] Did we see the whole thing?
[Celli] We could run the rest of it.
[Beaudrot] Let’s see the whole thing.
[Celli] Sure, and when — there’s another one on top of it. So we’ll watch …
[Beaudrot] And we said they’re different — I want to make sure she has the opportunity to see the difference.
A viral tweet from @TheSGTJoker suggested that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene objected to a snippet of video being played out of context during an April 22 2022 video — which led to Judge Beaudrot and prosecutor Andrew Celli to determine the clip ought to be played in its entirety; Taylor Greene was initially quoted as saying: “We can’t allow the transfer of power to happen peacefully.” The exchange, which we partially transcribed above, took place during the hearing.