Elected Official Removed from Office Over Jan. 6
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A politician in New Mexico became the first elected official to be removed from office over their involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
State Judge Francis Mathew ruled that Couy Griffin be removed from his elected position as one of Otero County’s three county commissioners, citing a violation of a clause in the 14th Amendment by participating in an “insurrection” against the federal government. Mathew is the first judge to formally rule that Jan. 6, 2021, was an “insurrection.”
“Mr. Griffin’s crossing of barricades to approach the Capitol were overt acts in support of the insurrection, as Griffin’s presence closer to the Capitol building increased the insurrectionists’ intimidation by number,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
“Mr. Griffin aided the insurrection even though he did not personally engage in violence. By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr. Griffin contributed to delaying Congress’s election certification proceedings.”
The ruling immediately removed Griffin from his position and barred him from holding elected office ever again.
The first-of-its-kind ruling comes after Griffin was convicted of misdemeanor trespassing during the Capitol riot. In June, he was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Griffin, founder of Cowboys for Trump, told CNN that the judge was being “tyrannical.”
“I’m shocked. Just shocked,” Griffin said. “I really did not feel like the state was going to move on me in such a way. I don’t know where I go from here.”
In his ruling, Mathew said Griffin’s attempts “to sanitize his actions are without merit” and “amounted to nothing more than attempting to put lipstick on a pig.”
According to the group Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW), the ruling marks the first time since 1869 that a judge removed an elected official from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
“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,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.