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Text messages from Greene put new focus on martial law testimony

In a January 2021 text, Greene told Trump's chief of staff that some lawmakers wanted the president to declare martial law. During court testimony, she said she didn't recall that.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., during a hearing on Friday in Atlanta.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., during a hearing on Friday in Atlanta.John Bazemore / Pool via AP

New text messages from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene surrounding the 2020 election are drawing attention to recent court testimony in which the Georgia Republican said she did not recall any involvement in efforts to keep former President Donald Trump in office.

When asked during a hearing Friday if she had advocated for martial law to keep President Joe Biden from taking office, Greene said she could not recall. But a new tranche of text messages obtained by CNN shows Greene broached the idea with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Ron Fein, who is leading a legal challenge to Greene’s candidacy in Georgia over allegations she helped facilitate the Jan. 6 riot, told NBC News on Monday that the text messages undermine her credibility and testimony in the case.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene testified under oath that she could not remember telling Trump or his chief of staff to declare martial law to try to keep Trump in power, but her own texts reveal that she did exactly that,” Fein said in a statement.

“Anyone who ‘can’t remember’ whether they urged the White House Chief of Staff to talk to the President of the United States about declaring martial law can’t be trusted when they claim they ‘can’t remember’ their own engagement in insurrection,” he added.

Greene's lawyer and office did not immediately return requests for comment.

In a text message to Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021, Greene told Meadows that some GOP lawmakers were saying Trump should call for martial law.

“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!” she wrote.

NBC News has not been able to independently confirm all of the text communications, which appear to reveal attempts by the Trump White House and its allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that go well beyond what was previously known.

Greene testified under oath for nearly four hours as a witness during Friday's hearing and was asked whether she had advocated for martial law prior to Biden’s inauguration.

“I don’t recall. I don’t recall,” Greene said when pressed about conversations and social media posts surrounding the election and Jan. 6.

Free Speech for People, an election and campaign finance reform organization led by Fein, filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of a group of Georgia voters aiming to remove Greene from the ballot due to her alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack.

Attorneys on both sides in the case have until Thursday to submit final briefs to the court, meaning the new text messages might be cited by plaintiffs. The judge said he plans to finalize his recommendation “about a week later.”

That recommendation will then go to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who will decide whether Greene remains on the ballot for the state’s May 24 primary.