NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –The trial for Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys for Trump founder, Couy Griffin begins Monday in Santa Fe. Griffin is fighting to keep his seat on the county commission after three residents of Santa Fe and Los Alamos Counties filed a lawsuit saying he should be removed from office because of his participation in the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol.
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Griffin could not only lose his seat on the commission but could also be barred from ever running for office again. Griffin was previously convicted of a misdemeanor for entering Capitol grounds and was sentenced to 14 days, but was given credit for time served.
Monday in court Griffin argued that he has already faced a criminal trial in the federal court system and that previous recall efforts to remove him from office failed. He called the current bench trial unfair and un-American.
“This lawsuit is about removing a duly elected county commissioner from office through the civil court. By allowing this case to move forward, you’re going to set a very dangerous precedent,” said Griffin.
In July, Griffin filed a motion to quash the lawsuit. After a tense back-and-forth about who drafted the pleadings, Judge Francis Mathew denied the motion.
Judge: Now I’m going to ask you again, who drafted those pleadings?
Griffin: “A friend of mine in Roswell, New Mexico. His name is Hiram.”
Judge: “Hiram, what?”
Griffin: “As God as my witness I do not know his last name. I only know him by his first name, which his first name is Hiram…and he’s not a licensed attorney, he’s not a BAR-certified attorney, he’s a friend of mine who knows the law.”
The judge denied the motion and said he would refer Hiram to the disciplinary counsel for the investigation of possibly practicing law without having a license.
Much of Monday’s trial was spent with the plaintiff’s attorneys going over Griffin’s actions on January 6th, bringing up videos and pictures from that day. Griffin, who is defending himself, said he went to Washington D.C. to peacefully protest and pray. He went on some tangents prompting Judge Mathew to put his foot down to stay on track. The court is expected to resume Tuesday at 9 a.m.