Opinion: Couy Griffin—The Leader of Cowboys for Trump—Has Been Called the Leader of a January 6 Mob during a Trial

Daniella Cressman

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"The chaos of the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol building dominated the first day of a bench trial in which Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin — the Cowboys for Trump leader convicted of trespassing during the rioting — faces removal and disqualification from public office for his actions in the attack." —Phaedra Haywood

Couy Griffin is now facing the possibility of being removed and disqualified from public office due to a petition that was filed in March of this year.

"Griffin is defending himself against a petition filed in March by three men from Northern New Mexico — two from Santa Fe County and one from Los Alamos. The two-day trial began Monday is expected to conclude Tuesday." —Phaedra Haywood

Unsurprisingly, Griffin has argued that the trial should not go forward—it would, indeed, be in his best interest if it did not.

He also argued that the men who filed the petition had no standing in the case because they themselves were not from Otero County.

"Griffin, who represented himself, argued in part the men had no standing in the case because they were not from Otero County and it would be 'unfair' and 'un-American' to allow the trial to go forward." —Phaedra Haywood

During the trial, Couy Griffin was visibly frustrated after his motion was denied.

"Griffin, who represented himself, argued in part the men had no standing in the case because they were not from Otero County and it would be 'unfair' and 'un-American' to allow the trial to go forward." —Phaedra Haywood

The three plaintiffs argued—in a 259-page petition—that Griffin should be disqualified from holding public office due to his involvement in the January 6th insurrection.

"The three plaintiffs in the case — Marco White and Leslie LaKind of Santa Fe and Mark Mitchell of Los Alamos — argue in a 259-page petition that Griffin should be disqualified from holding public office on the basis of a clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which holds that anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution be barred from office for engaging in insurrection or rebellion or giving aid or comfort to the nation’s enemies." —Phaedra Haywood

According to attorney Joseph Goldberg, Griffin carried numerous firearms to Washington, D.C. and stopped along the way to "encourage people to march to Capitol and stop the transfer of power."

Apparently, Griffin breached three separate barriers to get closer to the Capitol building—the attorney even had photographs to prove it!

"In his opening statement, attorney Joseph Goldberg told the court Griffin brought multiple firearms to Washington, D.C. and stopped along the way to give speeches 'encouraging people to go to Washington and stop the transfer of power.' Upon arriving in Washington, D.C., Goldberg said, Griffin breached three separate barriers to get closer to the Capitol building on Jan. 6, using a scooter seat to help him climb over one concrete wall and a police barricade resembling a bicycle rack to clear another. He showed photographs of Griffin scaling one wall and mounting the rack to climb higher in another. Goldberg said after Griffin gained access to a platform where President-elect Joe Biden was scheduled to be sworn in, he 'took up a prominent leadership position within the mob' and stayed there for more than an hour, continuing to 'foment people to resist the transfer of presidential power by suggesting further violence at the Capitol.'" —Phaedra Haywood

Of course, Griffin maintains that he simply headed to Washington, D.C. to peacefully protest.

“I had no intention of breaking the law on that day...We used to call it ‘The People’s House.’ thought it still was.” —Couy Griffin

According to one of the plaintiffs' first witnesses—freelance photographer Nate Gowdy—Griffin was attempting to take on a leadership position.

"One of the plaintiffs’ first witnesses was freelance photographer Nate Gowdy, who told the court he was on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine when he encountered Griffin in the crowd and shot multiple photographs of him. Gowdy said protestors became a mob when they breached barriers meant to keep them from the Capitol. Griffin, he added, was 'attempting to insert himself in a leadership role' and appeared to be 'reveling in everything that was happening, smiling and pumping his fist.' Goldberg illustrated Gowdy’s testimony with images and video showing an increasingly brutal melee in which demonstrators used their bodies against outnumbered police officers and attacked them with makeshift weapons, including flagpoles and hockey sticks." —Phaedra Haywood

The plaintiffs' final witness confirmed that the demonstrators were being anything but peaceful.

"The plaintiffs’ final witness Monday was Washington, D.C. Metro Police Officer Daniel Hodges, who testified demonstrators punched and pushed him, attempted to steal his baton and nearly gouged his eye out. Hodges’ breathing was labored and his voice was shaky as he testified he’d feared for his life that day after his face mask was pulled up over his eyes and he was crushed by the mob. He said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result." —Phaedra Haywood

According Officer Hodges, more officers were injured, one died of a stroke, and others have died by suicide since.

"Other officers had cuts, broken teeth and bones and one was shocked with a cattle prod, Hodges said. One died of a stroke, the officer added, and others have died by suicide since." —Phaedra Haywood

Hodges had captured the chaos of the insurrection through video.

He firmly believes that what occurred on January 6 was a terrorist attack against the United States.

"Hodges said officers were badly outnumbered and said he considered the event 'a terrorist attack on the Unites States of America, a coordinated attempt to install a dictator.'" —Phaedra Haywood

Hodges maintained even people who were not being violent prevented him from doing his job and said that they should be punished if they had broken the law.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

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