Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cowboys for Trump founder arrested over Capitol riot

Otero County Commission Chairman and Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin rides his horse on 5th avenue on May 1, 2020 in New York City.
Otero County Commission Chairman and Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin rides his horse on 5th Avenue in New York City last May. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

A New Mexico County commissioner who founded the "Cowboys for Trump" group was arrested and charged Sunday in connection with the U.S. Capitol insurrection, after returning to Washington, D.C., to participate in inauguration protests, the Justice Department said.

What they're saying: Couy Griffin, of Otero County, N.M., told FBI agents he got "caught up" in the Capitol siege and remained outside the building, but video posted to his Facebook page shows him in restricted areas of the complex, according to an affidavit.

The big picture: Prosecutors say Griffin pushed his way past the building's security barriers and onto an outside deck, where he allegedly used a bullhorn to lead the mob in a prayer.

  • They allege he said in one video that upon his return to D.C. to protest President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration that demonstrators "could have a Second Amendment rally on those same steps" as where the violence took place.
  • "If we do, then it's going to be a sad day, because there’s going to be blood running out of that building," Griffin said, according to the court documents.
  • Griffin said his group could "plant our flag" on the desks of President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), per the affidavit.

For the record: Griffin has been charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.

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