New Mexico connections from the fifth Jan. 6 select committee hearing

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The hearings continued for the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection Thursday. There are some new connections to New Mexico and an update on punishment for possible crimes in the state.

The committee included testimony on how former President Donald Trump allegedly put pressure on the Department of Justice to help overturn election results.

Yvette Herrell

There were multiple new developments, including that there was a proposal to give protection to New Mexico Congresswoman Yvette Herrell – in the form of a pardon.

The committee revealed evidence that Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks had asked for multiple people to be preemptively cleared of any consequences related to overturning election results. Just hours after that chaotic day, Jan. 6 of last year, Herrell was one of the 147 Republicans who voted not to certify Joe Biden’s win. Brooks allegedly asked for a pardon for all of them.

Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who represents parts of southern Colorado, voted the same way.

Punishment for crimes in NM?

New Mexico’s top prosecutor is looking into the possibility of criminal punishment. Attorney General Hector Balderas said his office is still investigating whether there was criminal activity here – people working together to change the state’s 2020 election results.

Balderas said he can’t comment on what specific activity his office may be investigating, but noted the state has legal restrictions on the behavior of “electors.”

New Mexico had a group of Republicans send a document to Washington, saying they were certifying Donald Trump as the winner in New Mexico – despite results showing he lost. They called themselves “alternate electors.”

Otero County

The attorney general is also raising new concerns about other efforts to resist election results. Otero County commissioners debated not certifying recent primary results.

Now, Balderas is calling on state lawmakers, saying they need to take action to add more teeth to the law – to give more resources to investigations of elected officials possibly not following their duties.

“There might be exposure to attempting to manipulate our electoral system,” Balderas said. “Now I think what we’re realizing is that individuals are becoming more sophisticated. There are easier ways to subvert the will of the voters. We need to modernize it the way the banking systems and other systems have modernized.”

As for the Otero County commissioners, Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin included, Balderas told KOB 4 he was prepared to go after removing them from office if they hadn’t given in.