Tierna Unruh-Enos is publisher at The Paper.

Cowboys for Trump video, Jan. 7, 2021


Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin is in the news. Again. This time defense attorneys for the jailed Cowboys for Trump leader urged a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to release Griffin as he awaits trial in connection with the Capitol siege on Jan. 6.

Prosecutors want Griffin to be held without bail in D.C.—as a flight risk and danger to others—on charges that he knowingly entered the Capitol grounds with the intent to disrupt government business. Prosecutors cite a history of comments on social media and access to firearms.

In federal court filings, Griffin’s attorneys told federal authorities he should be released on bond, since many other defendants involved in the riots have been let out of jail pending trial, including those who entered the Capitol building. They argue authorities have been selective in their characterization of Griffin’s comments to FBI agents and in public, and that prosecutors have no evidence proving Griffin is a flight risk. Despite the C4T leader stating on a video shot during the January riot that he intended to return to DC for Biden’s inauguration and that, “There will be blood flowing from the building,” the defense says that he is a Christian pastor and “not a mafia member.”

The filings also show that Griffin told FBI agents that he never went inside the Capitol, and he expected the event to be a peaceful rally, and was praying for the mass of Donald Trump supporters as a mob stormed the building. The video was filmed by C4T videographer Matt Struck of Denver, Colo., and posted on his Facebook page. When arguing FBI assertions that he traveled to Washington “with guns for the inauguration,” the defense maintains Griffin left all of his guns with friends and was arrested without a firearm in his possession.

He was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on Jan. 17 after returning to Washington, vowing opposition to President Joe Biden’s election victory and inauguration.

According to the Associated Press, more than 150 people have been charged in federal court with crimes following the Jan. 6 riot.