A Latest Mexico judge has ordered a Donald Trump-supporting county official to be immediately removed and barred from office for participating within the deadly Capitol revolt on Jan. 6, 2021.
In his ruling on Tuesday, District Judge Francis Mathew said that Otero County Commissioner and “Cowboys for Trump” founder Couy Griffin is disqualified from holding office under the 14th Amendment because he engaged within the revolt after taking an oath to support the Structure as an “executive … officer” of the state.
Griffin’s “protestations and his characterizations of his actions and the events of January 6, 2021 usually are not credible and amounted to nothing greater than attempting to place lipstick on a pig,” Mathew wrote.
Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin speaks to reporters at federal court in Washington on June 17, 2022. A judge ordered Griffin to be removed and barred from office on Sept. 6 for participating within the Capitol revolt of Jan. 6, 2021.
Gemunu Amarasinghe via Associated Press
Mathew cites several instances during which Griffin, while on a “Stop the Steal” bus tour, inflamed and mobilized Trump supporters across the country to affix what he repeatedly called the “war” in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. The ruling also included that Griffin brought firearms and ammunition with him on his technique to the nation’s capital.
Griffin was filmed scaling the Capitol’s partitions after seeing the mob of Trump supporters push past security barriers. Once he reached the inaugural stage, Griffin used a bullhorn to steer the group in prayer and provides a speech promoting the attack.
“It’s a fantastic day for America! The people [are] showing that they’ve had enough,” Griffin said to the mob, members of which were brutally attacking law enforcement in a close-by tunnel. “Individuals are ready for fair and legal elections, or that is what you’re going to get, and also you’re going to get more of it.”
In a video recorded the day after the revolt, Griffin celebrated the violence that occurred on the Capitol and previewed further violence to attempt to stop Joe Biden from becoming president. He mentioned a possible “Second Amendment rally” in the course of the inauguration that might include “blood running out of that constructing.”
The commissioner also told other Otero County officials at a gathering on Jan. 14, 2021, that he planned to take a rifle and a revolver when he returned to Washington. The move was a part of a greater effort by Trump supporters to dam the transfer of presidential power to Biden.
Griffin was arrested in Washington on Jan. 17, 2021, for his role within the revolt. He was convicted in March of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, but acquitted of disorderly conduct. Griffin was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a $3,000 nice for his role within the revolt.
Several law firms and the watchdog group Residents for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit earlier this 12 months on behalf of a gaggle of Latest Mexico residents looking for to remove Griffin from office. CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a press release that the ruling is a “historic win for accountability” for the revolt and those that were involved in it.
“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 revolt can and will likely be removed and barred from government service for his or her actions,” Bookbinder said.
The ruling is the primary time since 1869 that a judge has used the Structure’s insurrection-related disqualification language to remove someone from office, based on CREW. It’s also the primary time that any court has ruled the attack on the Capitol an revolt.
“The mob was unified by the common public purpose of opposing the execution of federal law – namely, the Twelfth and Twentieth Amendments and the Electoral Count Act. Through their chants, flags, banners, and clothing, the mob made clear they got here to the Capitol to stop Vice President [Mike] Pence and Congress from carrying out their constitutional duties to certify the election by force and intimidation,” the judge wrote. “That among the January 6 attackers could have believed that the 2020 presidential election was stolen doesn’t negate their insurrectionary purpose.”
“The mob ultimately achieved what even the Confederates never did in the course of the Civil War: they breached the Capitol constructing and seized the Capitol grounds, forcing the Vice President and Congress to halt their constitutional duties and flee to safer locations,” the judge continued. “Knowledgeable nineteenth-century Americans … would have regarded the events of January 6, and the encircling planning, mobilization and incitement, as an revolt.”