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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.

Go deeper: Others charged over the deadly Capitol riot

Go deeper

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

GOP lawmakers downplay Capitol riot at House hearing

Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.