Help us support local, independent news.
100% of reader donations support our local journalists.
For less than a subscription to the Journal for one reader, you can keep our news free for everyone in ABQ.
In his initial appearance today after his arrest at the Capitol on Jan. 17, Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was denied bail by a federal judge. Griffin appeared before Judge Zia Faruqui today, requesting to be released until trial. He argued that he was only facing one misdemeanor offense of trespassing on federal property when he took part in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. The judge, however, felt quite differently. “I think that it is implausible that he didn’t know where he was going on Jan. 6th. That the defendant didn’t know he was trespassing. He knew he was. It’s not as simple as a misdemeanor offense. It was an attempt to stop democracy, because he didn’t believe the results of the election.”
Judge Faruqui went on to say that he questions whether or not Griffin should undergo a mental health evaluation. “He seems competent, but those statements, and the fact that he clearly does not believe in the rule of law and that I as a judge am part of a machine and [he] is in denial of the fact that he participated in a riot that tried to disrupt the democratic process.”
The judge had sharp words about the privilege that the C4T leader has benefited from, being a democratically-elected leader himself. “He obviously believes in the democratic process, because he is an elected official. I don’t believe he respects the law, nor do I believe he will follow my orders.”
Federal filings show that Griffin told FBI agents that he never went inside the Capitol. He told agents 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 of Griffin atop the steps of the U.S. Capitol building 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.
Griffin 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. Griffin will be held without bail until his preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 8. at 1:30pm.
Community news requires community support.
Become a sustaining supporter by donating $5, $10 or $15 a month to support the local, independent journalists who broke this story and continue to bring you important local stories like this.