NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Controversial Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin is trying to get his federal case dismissed for his alleged role in the Capitol insurrection back in January. But the feds are pushing back and are sharing photos about where Griffin was during the riot. News 13 spoke with Griffin over the phone and he claims he never went inside the Capitol but said he didn’t know the area he was in was a restricted section.
“I didn’t do anything on that day that I would’ve been ashamed to have been a part of or that I couldn’t legally do,” said Couy Griffin over the phone. In a response to Griffin’s motion to dismiss his case, the feds attached screen grabs they said are from a video taken by Griffin’s videographer. Documents said Griffin climbed over a metal barricade where rioters had pushed past Capitol Police officers. Here’s what Griffin told News 13 about the images:
“If you look on what I’m stepping off of, it’s some kind of a little step ladder, [a] little metal object being used as a step ladder. I don’t know what it was maybe used for before but I’m just stepping up from one little platform to another little platform and there’s people above me that are helping me,” said Griffin over the phone. Documents state Griffin then climbed over what looked like a wooden board to get to an area beneath the inauguration platform and then he used an exterior stairwell to access that platform.
Griffin posted to Facebook video of him speaking to the crowd on that platform, encouraging them to pray with him.
Griffin claims he never went inside the Capitol but the feds said Capitol Police set up barricades, fencing and signage saying the area where he did go was closed. “There wasn’t any signs posted there wasn’t any police officers that said we couldn’t be where we were at,” Griffin said over the phone.
However, that contradicts what he said in a commissioner’s meeting back in January. “There was some fencing up and they were saying you couldn’t go any further because it was being reserved for Joe Biden and his inauguration,” said Griffin in a commissioner’s meeting in January.
Even with these photos, Griffin believes his case will be dismissed. He was arrested days after the Capitol insurrection and is being charged for knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.