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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: couy griffin

New Mexico Judge Ousts January 6 Perp From County Commission

A judge in New Mexico ordered that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin should be removed from office, effective immediately, as a result of Griffin's participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the United States Capitol.

Griffin is a former rodeo rider who cofounded the group Cowboys for Trump. In March, Griffin announced he would not seek reelection. Later that month, a federal judge convicted Griffin of illegally entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds on the day of the riots led by supporters of former President Donald Trump. In June, Griffin was sentenced to 14 days in jail and was given a $3,000 fine for his role in the attack.

On Tuesday, New Mexico district court judge Francis J. Mathew ruled that Griffin violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution when he entered the restricted grounds of the Capitol to try to block the transition of power from Trump to President Joe Biden. The 14th Amendment states that anyone who has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the United States is barred from holding state or federal office.

In his opinion, Mathew wrote that "political violence predictably occurred at the Capitol on January 6" and that Griffin "made that happen."

The 49-page ruling lays out Griffin's behavior in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 attack, his actions on that day, and the comments he made following his participation in the violent attempt to keep Trump in office.

Ahead of the insurrection, Griffin spoke at a number of "Stop the Steal" rallies across the country, where he vowed there would be "war" and that "there might be some of us that might lose our lives." He added that "We'll win it ... in the ballot box or we'll win it in the street," and threatened to "hunt down" any "sellouts" or "RINOs."

On the day of the insurrection, Griffin threatened then-Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump supporters wanted to block certification of Biden's win.

And he was seen on the inaugural stage set up on the West Terrace of the Capitol shouting, "I love the smell of napalm in the air" after law enforcement had deployed tear gas and pepper spray to try to disperse the violent mob breaking their way into the building. Griffin later declared the insurrection to be "a great day for America" and that "people are ready for fair and legal elections, or this is what you're going to get, and you're going to get more of it."

After the insurrection failed and Biden's win was certified, Griffin said on video that he was going to travel back to Washington, D.C., for Biden's insurrection and vowed that "there's going to be blood running out of that building."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which helped bring the lawsuit against Griffin, celebrated the judge's ruling.

"This is a historic win for accountability for the January 6th insurrection and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the United States. Protecting American democracy means ensuring those who violate their oaths to the Constitution are held responsible," CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

"This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and then participated in the January 6th insurrection can and will be removed and barred from government service for their actions."

Other GOP lawmakers — including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) — have also faced attempts to disqualify them from office for their role in the insurrection.

However, judges blocked those efforts from moving forward.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Right-Wing Commissioners In New Mexico Rehearse Theft Of Future Elections

Otero County, New Mexico, home to 66,000 residents, is the scene of an election battle that could portend dark consequences for the future of American elections.

Earlier this week, the three-person county commission refused to certify the results of the June 7 primary. The commission is controlled by three Republicans, and their decision has triggered a crisis at the county level with an emergency meeting held on Friday.

At the time of the emergency meeting, the most high-profile commissioner, Couy Griffin, was in Washington D.C. facing his sentencing for participating in the January 6 riots. Griffin is known as the founder of Cowboys for Trump, and he was found guilty of entering a restricted area and acquitted on a disorderly conduct charge.

He has indicated that he has not changed his mind on the vote and will not vote to certify the election, but it is unknown whether he can phone in his vote.

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the commission had to certify the results of the county’s election, but Griffin has publicly called on his fellow commissioners to stand firm and vote against certification.

Vague 'Concerns'

The three county commissioners have been somewhat vague about why exactly they refuse to certify election results. But just like on the national stage, election fraud has been a major talking point for Otero County since the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion voting machines have drawn the ire of conservatives across the country, and one county commissioner said she does not trust the machines during a public meeting last Monday. They did not cite specific irregularities and fell back on a general distrust of the voting machines.

“I don’t have specific examples that I can point to other than the recent audit and the canvass and the uncertainty of what that produced,” said Griffin during the meeting.

But election officials and other watchdogs have pointed out that the voting machines are available to the public to view prior to an election to see how the certification process works.

Mario Jimenez, a member of the progressive watchdog group Common Cause New Mexico, said, “they have no basis — other than ‘we just don’t trust the machine’ — for not certifying the election.”

Nonetheless, the county commission has received plenty of attention as an example of conservative strongholds refusing to allow votes to be counted properly.

New Mexico’s secretary of state called the situation “a canary in the coal mine.”

Election Unrest

The January 6 riots have a clear through line to election unease heading into the 2022 midterms. Ever since Trump and his allies claimed election fraud as the culprit behind his loss, conservative groups on the ground in heavily red areas have been laying the groundwork to contest election results going forward.

In some cases, it manifests in harmless sore losers like Joey Gilbert, who lost Nevada’s Republican gubernatorial primary and insisted election fraud was the reason for the loss.

But in other cases, like Otero County, Republican officials loyal to Trump have put in work to get into positions of power to hold up voting certification, almost as a proof of concept for future elections.

In all likelihood, the Otero County primary election results will be certified and be recognized as legitimate results.

However, Griffin and his fellow commissioners have successfully proven that you can contest election results by simply seizing power of the county commission.

While Congress attempts to bring details about the January 6 riots to light, conservatives across the country are working at the local level to increase their stranglehold on power in rural, red communities.