A New Mexico judge ordered a county official be removed from office for taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The 49-page ruling, which is effective immediately, strips Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin of his official duties and prohibits him from holding any state or federal office for violating the 14th Amendment's Disqualification Clause by engaging in insurrection or rebellion despite swearing an oath to the U.S. Constitution, reported the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“This is a historic win for accountability for the January 6th insurrection and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the United States. Protecting American democracy means ensuring those who violate their oaths to the Constitution are held responsible,” said CREW president Noah Bookbinder. “This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and then participated in the January 6th insurrection can and will be removed and barred from government service for their actions.”
Griffin, the leader of the Cowboys for Trump group, played an active role in the U.S. Capitol riot by the former president's supporters, according to witnesses.
“You were the most outspoken person I saw on the west terrace that afternoon,” testified freelance photographer Nate Gowdy in Griffin's bench trial last month. “You had a front-row seat to the violence, and you were seemingly cheerleading it."
Judge Francis Mathew, who presided over that case, ruled against Griffin after rejecting his argument that his removal would subvert the will of the people, finding that the Constitution itself reflects the will of the people and serves as the supreme law of the land.
Griffin was arrested Jan. 18, 2021, and charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building relating, and he was sentenced to 14 days of time served and ordered to pay $500 in restitution, a a $3,000 fine and complete community service and one year of supervised release.