A US judge has denied a bid to block a congresswoman from seeking re-election over claims her rhetoric before last year’s US Capitol riot amounted to engaging in insurrection.
Marjorie Taylor Greene was tried under a Civil War-era law that bars officials from holding office if they violate their oath to protect the country.
The Georgia Republican is a close ally of former President Donald Trump.
She reacted to the news on Friday with a one-word tweet: “ACQUITTED.”
Several Republicans have faced questions over their alleged involvement in the riot that took place in January 2021 as Congress was meeting to formalise Joe Biden’s election victory over Mr Trump.
Democrats claimed Ms Greene, 47, had played a key role in calling for an “insurrection” in Washington.
Their case centred around a provision of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution – the “Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause” – which prohibits elected representatives from seeking office again if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof”.
Prosecutors alleged that Ms Greene had made coded calls to arms on social media and in public appearances.
But under oath in a Georgia courtroom, the congresswoman denied the charge and said: “I don’t support violence of any kind.”
She also testified that she “had no knowledge of any attempt” to illegally interfere with vote-counting in Congress that day.
On Friday, Judge Charles Beaudrot said the group of voters who sought to disqualify Ms Greene from holding office had not presented enough evidence to prove she “engaged in insurrection”.
He said the decision over her fitness for office “is rightfully a question for the voters of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District”.
Ms Greene, who is up for re-election this November, welcomed the decision and called the challenge an “unprecedented attack on free speech, on our elections, and on you, the voter”.
Free Speech for People, which brought the challenge, vowed to appeal the decision.
In a statement, the group said the ruling “gives a pass to political violence as a tool for disrupting and overturning free and fair elections”.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he accepted the judge’s findings.
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