Marjorie Taylor Greene was privately pressuring former Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler to get on board with the effort to overturn the 2020 election, text messages obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveal.
The leaked trove of texts show that before losing to current Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock in a Jan. 5, 2021 runoff, Loeffler was repeatedly pressured by Republicans to join Trump’s efforts to manipulate the certification of Electoral College votes that would finalize President Joe Biden’s election.
One of those Republicans was Greene. “Hey! I need to talk with you about a plan we are developing on how to vote on the electoral college votes on Jan 6th,” she texted Loeffler on Dec. 2. “I need a Senator! And I think this is a major help for you to win on the 5th!!”
A few weeks later, Greene invited Loeffler to a Jan. 6 “planning” meeting with President Trump, members of Congress, and the president’s legal team at the White House. Loeffler declined the invitation but indicated that “everything is on table with regard to Jan. 6.”
Rolling Stone reported last fall that Greene was one of several right-wing House representatives who were involved, or whose staff was involved, in organizing the rally that preceded the riot at the Capitol. Loeffler’s leaked texts appear to contradict testimony Greene gave earlier this year in a case seeking to disqualify her from office for “engaging in insurrection or rebellion.” When asked if it was fair to say that her opinion was that Congress should not certify Biden’s win, she replied “that’s not accurate.”
Sen. Ted Cruz is also featured in the texts, one of which shows he personally reached out to Loeffler asking her to sign onto a statement, which Loeffler declined, committing to objecting to the election and calling for an audit. Loeffler’s texts also indicate that on Jan. 6 Cruz was “trying to hold” the line amongst Republican objectors amids the violence unfolding in the Capitol.
Loeffler didn’t sign the statement, but she ultimately more or less got on board with the effort to overturn the election. The leaked texts also show her begging aides to “make sure Trump [retweeted]” her statement endorsing the GOP’s objection to the certification vote so she wouldn’t “get booed off the stage,” at a Georgia rally. The text came after Trump threatened to pull his endorsement of Loeffler against Warnock in the final days before the runoff election.
Loeffler’s attempts to convert Trump’s election conspiracies in Georgia into a victory for herself were met with resistance from Georgia officials. In one of the most memorable moments of the aftermath of the 2020 election, Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager for the state of Georgia, railed against fellow Republican state officials, including Loeffler, who refused to condemn threats of violence and intimidation against Georgia election officials.
In one text exchange, the wife of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whose resignation Loeffler had called for, wrote to Loeffler that she held her “personally responsible for anything that happens to any of my family, from my husband, children and grandchildren.” Tricia Raffensperger told Loeffler she and her family had been “besieged by people threatening our lives because you didn’t have the decency or good manners to come and talk to my husband with any questions you may have had.”
“You do not deserve to be in elected office,” Raffensperger said.
Loeffler would ultimately reverse course on her opposition to Biden’s Electoral College certification, but only when a mob of violent Trump supporters broke into the Capitol complex and advisers appealed to her fear of permanent reputational harm.