A New Mexico county commissioner who was removed from office by a judge for attending the January 6 Capitol Hill riot is appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court.
Cowboys for Trump co-founder and former Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin notified the high court on Tuesday of his intent to appeal a ruling earlier this month that removed him from his position as an elected official in Southern New Mexico.
New Mexico State District Court Judge Francis Mathew issued the original ruling that bars Griffin from holding office or running for future office, claiming that he participated in an “insurrection after taking his oath” at the U.S. Capitol which violates Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
“Mr. Griffin aided the insurrection even though he did not personally engage in violence,” Mathew wrote. “By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr. Griffin contributed to delaying Congress’s election-certification proceedings.”
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Griffin was previously convicted in federal court of a misdemeanor for entering Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. He was sentenced to 14 days and given credit for time served.
The ruling marks the first time since 1869 that a court has disqualified a public official from office via Section 3, according to a press release from the nonprofit government ethics watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, in Washington, D.C.
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In a statement to Fox News Digital, Griffin said he has been “abandoned” by the leaders of his political movement.”
“I feel I have truly held the line and fought hard for election integrity, securing our border, protecting our 2nd Amendment, and defending life,” Griffin said. “Now that I’m under political attack and in the fight of my life those ‘leaders’ are silent. I sat in solitary confinement for three weeks on a misdemeanor charge and President Trump made no mention of the injustice. I hear General Flynn’s message of local leaders needing to stand up and fight back but when I do and they remove me from office I don’t hear one word out of Flynn advocating in my defense.”
Griffin continued, “I reach out to Sidney Powell, who has represented me in the past, and her response is ‘get a NM lawyer and good luck!’ Professor David Clements who encourages local officials to stand up and fight back (which I agree with) is a law professor here in New Mexico and should have the skills to navigate this lawfare I am in, yet he shrinks back when it comes to toeing the line.”
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Griffin, who is acting as his own legal counsel in the case, added that he will “keep fighting” and “continue to trust in God.”
“He has been by me every step of the way and I know that it is only by His grace that I will get through this and be victorious when I do,” Griffin said. “Until then I’ll keep doing all that I can as a pro se defendant and continue to pray for a lawyer who is interested in what will surely be a historic victory!”
Griffin, a 48-year-old former rodeo rider and former pastor, helped found Cowboys for Trump in 2019. The promotional group staged horseback parades to spread President Donald Trump’s conservative message about gun rights, immigration controls and abortion restrictions.
Griffin was elected as Otero County Commissioner in 2018 and withstood a recall effort last year.
Associated Press contributed to this report.