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Cowboys for Trump co-founder barred from public office over Jan. 6

A New Mexico judge removed Cuoy Griffin as commissioner of Otero County, citing the 14th Amendment’s clause barring officials who've engaged “in insurrection or rebellion” from holding public office.
Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner and cofounder of Cowboys for Trump, appears in 1st Judicial District Court on Aug. 15, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner and co-founder of Cowboys for Trump, appears in 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, N.M., on Aug. 15.Matt Dahlseid / Santa Fe New Mexican via AP file

A New Mexico judge ordered the co-founder of Cowboys for Trump removed from public office Tuesday over his presence at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.

State District Judge Francis Mathew removed Otero County Commissioner Cuoy Griffin from his elected position "effective immediately" and banned him from seeking further public office, citing the 14th Amendment's clause barring those who have taken oaths to uphold the Constitution from holding federal or state office if they have engaged “in insurrection or rebellion."

“Due to his disqualification under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, defendant is constitutionally ineligible and barred for life from serving as a ‘Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President,' or from ‘hold[ing] any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State,’ including his current office as an Otero County Commissioner,” Mathew wrote.

NBC News has asked Griffin for comment.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and several New Mexico-based law firms represented a group of state residents in the lawsuit to remove Griffin as county commissioner.

Griffin, who has espoused false claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, was convicted in federal court this year of a misdemeanor for entering the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, without going inside. Griffin was sentenced to 14 days and given credit for time served.

Griffin was the second defendant to go to trial in connection with the Capitol attack after his arrest in January 2021, weeks after supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to protest the results of the 2020 election amid Trump’s refusal to concede.

Griffin, who faced misdemeanor charges, represented himself in a two-day bench trial. He made headlines at the start of the trial this year for ditching his plans to ride a horse to the courthouse. Griffin claimed that he abandoned the plan because he wanted to respect the court and didn’t want to create a “spectacle.” He instead showed up in a truck with a “COWBOYS FOR TRUMP”-branded horse trailer attached.

Upon walking into the courthouse in March, Griffin insisted that a metal police barricade he climbed upon on the grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was actually a step. 

“That was a step,” Griffin claimed. “It was a metal step. I used it as a step. ... You can call it a barricade. I call it a step.”