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Couy Griffin Stands Above Mob on January 6, 2021

On August 6, a judge in New Mexico ordered Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin to be removed from office under the 14th Amendment after being convicted of participating in the January 6th Capitol riot. 


Griffin is the first public official since 1919 to be removed from office by court order under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, known as the Disqualification Clause, which bans any person from holding federal or state office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort” to insurrectionists. 

The order was also the first time that a court has ruled the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol to be an insurrection.

According to eyewitness accounts, Griffin took a leadership position within the mob that breached the Capitol on January 6th. He climbed over barricades at the Capitol to give a speech to the mob for over an hour, indicating his willingness to overturn the election results by any means necessary. After the attack, Griffin continued to defend the mob’s actions and boasted about his involvement in it. 


Griffin was previously found guilty of one misdemeanor in March for illegally entering a restricted area at the Capitol and was sentenced to 14 days in prison in June. The ruling also found that Griffin had attended Stop the Steal rallies and was connected with a militia group known as the New Mexico Civil Guard as early as November 2020.


In his decision, Judge Francis J. Mathew of the New Mexico District Court stated that the January 6th attack not only included the mob violence on the day of, but also the “surrounding planning, mobilization and incitement” leading up to the attack. “Mr. Griffin is constitutionally disqualified from serving,” Judge Mathew wrote. 


“January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our history,” said Dodd Law Office, LLC President Christopher Dodd, whose office represented the prosecution. “The court’s ruling today is a historic moment for our country. Mr. Griffin’s removal and bar from holding office again is a step towards obtaining justice and restoring the rule of law.”

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