Using reporting from The Paper., Albuquerque’s new independent news outlet, House impeachment managers on Thursday profiled Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin as an example of Trump supporters, inspired by the president, who intended to enact violence against members of Congress.
In the hours after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, The Paper. began reviewing social media posts from Trump supporters suspected of being at the president’s rally earlier that day. Reporters identified videos posted by Griffin inside the secure area of the Capitol’s West Front and later, from a hotel in Virginia where he had relocated after the insurrection.
In the first video, Griffin is clearly seen participating in the crowd after it had overrun police.
“There will be blood flowing from that building,” Griffin says in a second video from the hotel. In it, he calls for a second rally on Inauguration Day to “Plant our flag” on the desks of Speaker Pelosi, new Senate Majority Leader Schumer and even President Trump, “If we have to.”
The videos were later removed by Facebook but were captured by The Paper. and shared in reporting online that had been viewed more than 130,000 times.
Griffin was subsequently arrested by Capitol Police and the FBI when he returned to the U.S. Capitol a week later. A U.S. magistrate judge, finding that he was a danger to the community, determined that Griffin should be held until trial. A federal trial judge later overturned that decision and allowed Griffin to return to New Mexico on the condition that he give up access to his guns.
“Blood running out of the building. This building. The Capitol.”
During day three of the impeachment trial, Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado presented evidence that Trump’s rhetoric had inspired his supporters, including The Proud Boys and Griffin, to organize “plots” to attack Congress in order to stop the certification of the election. Quoting Griffin, DeGette made the case that Trump’s supporters were intent on violence. “Blood running out of the building. This building. The Capitol,” she said.
DeGette also shared video of Griffin speaking during a Cowboys for Trump event in New Mexico where he said, “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” Impeachment managers used that video as well as Trump’s retweeting of it and a subsequent call between Griffin and Trump as evidence that Trump was encouraging extremists.
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“Threats like Griffin have triggered a deployment of forces, the likes of which we have never seen,” DeGette added. The congresswoman was referring to national guard troops and law enforcement stationed at the Capitol during the impeachment proceedings.
A note from our editor.
I’m incredibly proud of our team of independent New Mexico journalists whose tenacity created reporting impactful enough to be a part of the president’s impeachment trial in the US Senate.
We’re all proud that our new paper, The Paper., is creating journalism of that caliber.
— Tierna Unruh-Enos, Managing Editor
Support the independent journalists bringing you this reporting.
From the first moment the story broke on January 6th, our reporters began working the local angle to identify New Mexicans involved. They were the first to find Griffin’s videos and saved them before they were deleted by Facebook.
Since then, our reporters have followed Griffin’s arrest and detention and provided the local angle on other hate groups in New Mexico.
They’re still working this story and they need your support.