El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — Otero County Commissioner and founder of Cowboys for Trump Couy Griffin has been arrested by the FBI for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Griffin was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.
According to an FBI press release, Griffin, 47, of Tularosa, N.M., was detained by U.S. Capitol Police on Sunday afternoon.
Griffin was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Albuquerque FBI Division for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. The FBI Washington Field Office has taken him into custody.
Griffin was charged with illegally entering the U.S. Capitol, telling investigators that he was “caught up” in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol.
According to an affidavit, 47-year old Griffin posted a series of videos to the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page. In one post, he stated that he “climbed up on the top of the Capitol building and … had a first row seat.” That post has since been removed.
In that same video, he went on to state his intention to return to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20. In the video, he also stated that he would “plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Donald J. Trump if it boils down to it,” according to the affidavit.
When interviewed by special agents with the FBI later interviewed him, Griffin said that he did not enter the Capitol building, but remained on the Capitol steps. He said that while he may have committed “some minor trespassing” on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, he had no malicious intent.
However, according to the affidavit, images and video taken from Griffin’s Facebook page, as well as
from a news story that shows Griffin in the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he has demanded that Griffin resign from the Otero County Commission.
In a letter sent to Griffin Saturday, Balderas demanded his resignation on multiple grounds, including accusations that he has misused public office for personal gain, has neglected his duties as a county commissioner and because of his participation in the Jan. 6 incident.
“An elected office is a public trust, and no official should use it to encourage violence and attack Americans,” Balderas said. “My office will enforce the rule of law to ensure the public’s confidence.”
The letter states that absent his resignation, the Office of the Attorney General will take all appropriate legal action to seek Griffin’s removal.
The letter stated in part: “Moreover, your recent participation in the violent insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol, the stated purpose of which was to prohibit the certification of the nation’s election of the President of the United States, is a direct violation of your sworn oath of office, and a danger to our society.”