Griffin maintains his innocence following federal trial
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ALAMOGORDO, N.M- From riding a horse across the country; to controversial comments against Democrats and his ardent backing of former President Donald Trump, Couy Griffin has made headlines and become a notable figure in national politics.
But it is the charges related to his alleged actions in Washington, D.C. during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, for which the Cowboys for Trump founder and Otero County Commissioner has received the most attention.
Griffin, 48, was charged federally with one count each of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds in relations to his actions that day.
At the time, Griffin was among the throngs in Washington, D.C. to attend a rally held by Trump, which revolved around Trump’s debunked claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Following a bench trial in Washington, D.C. in March, Griffin was found guilty of entering or remaining in a restricted area charge, but found not guilty on the disorderly or disruptive conduct charge.
He could face up to a year in prison when he is sentenced June 17.
In a recent interview with KOB, Griffin admitted that he is concerned about the possibility of going to prison, but maintains his innocence. He also characterizes the trial as a partial victory for him, given that the government failed to convict him on the disorderly and disruptive conduct charge.
“That was big because the government was wanting me to plead guilty on that. By me winning and being acquitted on the disorderly and disruptive charge, only further proves I was standing at a peaceful protest. I did nothing violent on that day. I did nothing disruptive on that day. I did nothing disorderly on that day,” Griffin said.
As for the charge on which he was convicted, Griffin insists the area he was in on the day of the attack was not marked restricted and that he was merely engaging the crowd in prayer.
“Personally, my personal actions, I have zero regret of that day, because I was just standing on what I thought was ground that the people owned, the capital grounds and I was just expressing my right to peacefully protest,” Griffin stated.
Though he says he condemns the violence and property damage of the Jan. 6 attack, Griffin also decries what he says is the inhumane treatment people arrested on charges related to the attack have faced. It’s a claim that has been embraced by many conservatives, including Trump.
Among those Griffin says he is disappointed in is Trump, who he says did not speak out enough on the issue. Griffin also said he disagrees with the Trump administration’s successful effort to create vaccines meant to halt the spread of COVID-19 and other pandemic measures.
Griffin said those areas make him uncertain as to whether he would back a possible 2024 bid by Trump for the White House.
“Where I sit right now, I don’t know if I could support Trump in a future campaign,” Griffin said.
In New Mexico, Griffin faces more charges. He has been charged with a misdemeanor campaign violation for failing to register Cowboys for Trump with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office as a political action committee.
A charge he denies and has described as politically motivated. Griffin had attempted to challenge the law, an effort rejected by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Griffin though said he is working with Sidney Powell, the controversial attorney who represented the Trump campaign, to appeal the ruling.
He added he is confident he will win the case on appeal.