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Judge calls Jan. 6 an ‘riot,’ bars ‘Cowboys for Trump’ founder

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Otero County Commission Chairman and Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin rides his horse on fifth Avenue on May 1, 2020 in Recent York City.

Jeenah Moon | Getty Images

A judge in Recent Mexico declared Tuesday that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was an “riot” as he ruled that Otero County Commissioner and “Cowboys for Trump” founder Couy Griffin should be faraway from office for participating within the attack.

Griffin is barred for all times from holding any federal or state office — including his current role as county commissioner, from which he will probably be ousted “effective immediately,” Judge Francis Mathew ruled.

Griffin became “constitutionally disqualified” from those positions as of Jan. 6, 2021, the judge concluded.

On that day, a violent mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing lawmakers to flee their chambers and disrupting the transfer of power to President Joe Biden. Griffin was convicted in March on a misdemeanor charge of breaching restricted Capitol grounds.

The riot and the planning and incitement that led as much as it “constituted an ‘riot'” under the 14th Amendment to the Structure, Mathew wrote within the ruling in Recent Mexico’s 1st Judicial District Court.

The ruling marked the primary time that any court found that the Capitol riot met the definition of an riot, in response to the nonprofit government watchdog group CREW, which represented the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit to disqualify Griffin.

“This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the U.S. Structure after which participated within the January sixth riot can and will probably be removed and barred from government service for his or her actions,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a press release.

Griffin told CNN later Tuesday that he had been ordered to wash out his desk.

“I’m shocked, just shocked,” Griffin told CNN. “I actually didn’t feel just like the state was going to maneuver on me in such a way. I do not know where I’m going from here.”

Mathew’s ruling also marks the primary time since 1869 that a court has disqualified a public official under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, in response to CREW.

That section, generally known as the Disqualification Clause, bars any person from holding civil or military office on the federal or state level of the USA in the event that they “have engaged in riot or rise up against the identical, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Griffin didn’t enter the Capitol constructing itself or commit violence throughout the Jan. 6 riot, but he nevertheless engaged in it and his actions “aided the riot,” Mathew ruled.

“By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr. Griffin contributed to delaying Congress’ election-certification proceedings,” the judge wrote. Griffin’s presence “contributed to law enforcement being overwhelmed,” and he also “incited, encouraged, and helped normalize the violence” throughout the riot, Mathew ruled.

As well as, the judge dismissed as “meritless” the arguments recommend by Griffin, who represented himself within the case.

Griffin’s attempts to “sanitize his actions are without merit and contrary to the evidence produced by the Plaintiffs, taking into account that he produced no evidence himself in his own defense,” Mathew wrote.

His arguments in court were “not credible and amounted to nothing greater than attempting to place lipstick on a pig,” the judge added.

Griffin was arrested lower than two weeks after the Capitol riot. He was convicted in March and sentenced on June 17 to 2 weeks’ time served in jail, together with a $3,000 nice and community service.

Griffin, a Republican and a vocal supporter of Trump, has echoed the previous president’s false claims that the 2020 election results were compromised by widespread fraud.

He and the 2 other GOP members who make up the Otero County Commission refused to certify its most up-to-date primary election results, reportedly citing conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines. The commission eventually voted 2 to 1 to certify the first results, with Griffin voting “no.”

In 2019, Griffin created Cowboys for Trump, a gaggle that placed on pro-Trump horseback-riding parades.

Bookbinder called Tuesday’s ruling “a historic win for accountability for the January sixth riot and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the USA.”

“Protecting American democracy means ensuring those that violate their oaths to the Structure are held responsible,” he said.

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