A judge removed Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin from his elected position as a county commissioner in New Mexico on Tuesday over his participation in the insurrection at the US Capitol.
The ruling, made by District Court Judge Francis Mathew, marks the first time that an elected official has been removed from office as a result of their participation in or support for the attack which took place on Jan. 6, 2021.
Griffin has not only been removed from office, but he is also barred from holding any state or federal elected office in the future. The decision was the result of a lawsuit brought forward by a group of New Mexico residents who sought Griffin’s removal from office.
Their lawsuit alleged that Griffin, who was found guilty in March of illegally being in a restricted area of the Capitol during the insurrection, violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, also known as the "Disqualification Clause," which prohibits anyone from holding federal or state office who has participated in “insurrection or rebellion” against the US government.
This is the first time since 1869 that an elected official has been removed under the clause, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. And Tuesday’s decision was also the first time that a judge has formally called the events that occurred on Jan. 6 an “insurrection.”
“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 the majority of the people of the entire country has not escaped this Court,” Mathew wrote in the ruling.
“Mr. Griffin and his organization, Cowboys for Trump, played a key role in the Stop the Steal movement’s mobilization efforts ahead of the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol."
Griffin did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News. In the immediate aftermath of the insurrection, video on the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page showed him in a restricted area outside the Capitol building, speaking to the mob through a bullhorn. He also admitted his participation in public remarks at a county commissioners' meeting and said he planned to return to Washington, DC, with firearms. He was later arrested in DC.
At trial, he was acquitted of one count of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail on the illegal entry count.