On Friday, CNN reported that a judge appointed by former President Donald Trump is rejecting an accusation from a prominent Capitol rioter that he is being selectively prosecuted for his political beliefs.
"Federal Judge Trevor McFadden shot down that accusation and upheld the criminal charges against Couy Griffin, a county commissioner from New Mexico who founded the 'Cowboys for Trump' group and was featured in a recent CNN documentary about the January 6 insurrection," reported Marshall Cohen. "The judge also rejected Griffin's technical arguments about the federal trespassing statutes that the Justice Department used to prosecute him and hundreds of other riot suspects. The ruling could influence other judges who are considering similar challenges regarding the trespassing law."
In his opinion, McFadden wrote that Griffin "comes up short on providing the 'clear evidence' required" and that "[Prosecutors] could rationally forgo federal prosecution as to most trespassers while deciding that Griffin's leadership role in the crowd, position as an elected official, and more blatant conduct at the scene merited him different treatment." McFadden also shot down Griffin's complaint that he was treated worse than liberal protesters who demonstrated in the Senate offices against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, concluding, "This is not a basis to dismiss the charges."
Griffin, who met with Trump "several times" while he was in office, is also well-known for COVID-19 trutherism. He has demanded people in Otero County take off their masks and "get exposed" to the virus to make everyone immune, and even refused to take a COVID-19 test while in jail for the Capitol riot charges, which led to him being put in an isolation cell.
A political committee in Otero County has begun gathering signatures to recall Griffin from office, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.