Judge removes elected official citing insurrection

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06 Sep 2022, 6:50 pm

New Mexico county commissioner and Cowboys for Trump founder removed from elected office for role in US Capitol riot

A New Mexico judge on Tuesday removed January 6 rioter and Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin from his elected position as a county commissioner for his role in the US Capitol attack.

The ruling was the result of a lawsuit seeking Griffin's removal, which alleged that he violated a clause in 14th Amendment of the Constitution by participating in an "insurrection" against the US government. He had been convicted of trespassing earlier this year.

The historic ruling represents the first time an elected official has been removed from office for their participation or support of the US Capitol riot. It also marks the first time a judge has formally ruled that the events of January 6, 2021, were an "insurrection."

The disqualification comes after unsuccessful challenges by liberal-leaning groups against prominent Trump supporters in the US House of Representatives and Trump-backed candidates for state offices across the country.

Griffin, one of three commissioners in Otero County, is also barred from holding any state or federal elected position in the future, state Judge Francis Mathew ruled Tuesday.

"The irony of Mr. Griffin's argument that this Court should refrain from applying the law and consider the will of the people in District Two of Otero County who retained him as a county commissioner against a recall effort as he attempts to defend his participation in an insurrection by a mob whose goal, by his own admission, was to set aside the results of a free, fair and lawful election by a majority of the people of the entire country (the will of the people) has not escaped this Court," Mathew wrote.

Griffin, an ardent conspiracy theorist who refused to certify the state's primary election results this summer in Otero County, told CNN he has been ordered to clean out his office and attacked the judge as being "tyrannical."
"I'm shocked. Just shocked," Griffin said. "I really did not feel like the state was going to move on me in such a way. I don't know where I go from here."

In his ruling Tuesday, Mathew wrote that Griffin's attempts "to sanitize his actions are without merit" and "amounted to nothing more than attempting to put lipstick on a pig."

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