Did Marjorie Taylor Greene Say Jan. 6 Defendants Had Rights ‘Fragrantly Violated?’

The Georgia Republican tripped over her words while defending the rights of those charged with attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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ep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) walks to a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol April 28.
Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images

Claim

In a speech on June 9, 2022, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said Jan. 6 Capitol attack defendants were having their rights “fragrantly” violated.

Rating

Correct Attribution
Correct Attribution
About this rating
Context

Greene misspoke and clearly intended to use the word “flagrantly.”

Fact Check

In June 2022, as a U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee held public hearings on its investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, some right-wing observers railed against what they perceived as the committee’s biases and pre-judgments. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., for example, sought to highlight what she presented as the plight of individuals accused of various crimes in relation to the Jan. 6 attack.

However, according to a viral video that surfaced on June 9, the freshman representative — who has advanced various conspiracy theories and made numerous inflammatory remarks, especially about Democratic opponents — tripped over her own words in making her point.

A video clip posted by Aaron Rupar and boosted by Green’s political adversary U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., contained the caption, “hate it when my rights are fragrantly [sic] violated,” and appeared to show Greene at one point during a speech on the House floor say, “And why their due process rights are being so fragrantly and horrifically violated?” The clip was viewed nearly 5 million times in one day.

Did MTG say Capital Riot defendants had their rights 'fragrantly violated'?

That footage was authentic and not the result of digital manipulation. As a result, we are issuing a rating of “Correct Attribution.”

During a House speech on June 9, Greene did indeed incorrectly use the word “fragrantly” to describe what she presented as violations of the rights of Jan. 6 defendants. A transcript of the relevant section of her remarks is below:

You know what else we don’t hear enough about? We do not understand what is happening to the over 800 people who have been arrested and charged for the events on Jan. 6. We don’t know what is happening to them, and there are dozens of them right here in this city, wasting away in the D.C. jail, being treated like political prisoners of war. And you know what? This is before they have been convicted of anything.

They are there pre-trial, and no one cares about them. No one on this Jan. 6 committee dares to ask a question, what is happening to these people, and why their due process rights are being so fragrantly [sic] and horrifically violated, pre-trial? Pre-trial, they are sitting in that jail.

“Fragrant” is an adjective that means sweet-smelling and derives from the Latin verb “fragrare” — to emit a strong and pleasant odor.

Presumably, Greene instead intended to use the word “flagrantly,” the adverbial form of “flagrant” — an adjective that means obvious, emphatic, or blatant and typically describes an offense or wrong. For example, U.S. President Joe Biden on June 9 described the attack on the Capitol as “a clear, flagrant violation of the Constitution.” “Flagrant” is derived from the Latin verb “flagrare” — to burn or glow.

Greene did not correct her mistake during the remainder of her remarks, but it’s clear that she simply misspoke, rather than geniunely intending to use the wrong word. This is underlined by the fact that the Congressional Record transcript of her remarks replaced the word “fragrantly” with “flagrantly.”


Sources:

Biden: Jan 6 “flagrant Violation” of Constitution. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp7RYtivGLs. Accessed 10 June 2022.

Flagrant | Etymology, Origin and Meaning of Flagrant by Etymonline. https://www.etymonline.com/word/flagrant. Accessed 10 June 2022.

Fragrant | Etymology, Origin and Meaning of Fragrant by Etymonline. https://www.etymonline.com/word/fragrant. Accessed 10 June 2022.

User Clip: U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Special Order Speeches 06/09/2022 | C-SPAN.Org. https://www.c-span.org/video/?c5019207/user-clip-us-rep-marjorie-taylor-greene-special-order-speeches-06092022. Accessed 10 June 2022.