Otero Co. Commissioner Couy Griffin arrested for alleged role in Capitol riot

New Mexico News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys for Trump leader Couy Griffin has been arrested for his alleged role in the riots at the U.S. Capitol. This comes as New Mexico’s top prosecutor, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, is urging Griffin to step down from his position.

“This is a black eye for New Mexico for an elected official to be arrested,” Balderas explained. “The recent threats using firearms and the most recent arrest by federal authorities really required us to seek his removal from office.”

The FBI confirmed Griffin was arrested Sunday by police in Washington, D.C. for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. According to the arrest affidavit, a videographer who was with Griffin at the Capitol told the FBI in a Jan. 11 interview that he and Griffin climbed up a wall and onto the patio on the building’s west side.

It’s something Griffin addressed at a recent Otero County Commission meeting on Jan. 14. “There was some fencing up and they were saying that you could not go any further,” Griffin explained.

The affidavit states the two then climbed up stairs to an outside deck of the Capitol where Griffin led a group in prayer; then they eventually left peacefully when they smelled pepper spray.

It was after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol that Griffin drew criticism for a Facebook post about a possible future protest at the Capitol. “We could have a Second Amendment rally on the same steps we had that rally yesterday and if we do it’s going to be a sad day because there’s going to be blood running out of that building,” he said in the video that has since been deleted.

Griffin later told KRQE News 13 he planned no harm. “I in no way shape or form want to invoke any type of violence… or any type of physical revolt,” he told KRQE News 13.

According to the arrest affidavit, agents referenced a video of last week’s commission meeting. Griffin said he would be armed for his upcoming travel to Washington, D.C. for the presidential inauguration.

“I’ve got a .357 single action revolver… that I will have underneath the front seat on my right side. And I will embrace my Second Amendment. I will keep my right to bear arms,” he said.

Griffin is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority. KRQE News 13 asked the New Mexico Republican Party for a statement. A spokesperson says Griffin does not represent nor speak for the party.

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