Wednesday, September 7, 2022

First elected official removed from office for Jan. 6 involvement

A New Mexico county commissioner became the first public official to lose their job for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol when a state judge ruled that the Republican violated the U.S. Constitution by engaging in an insurrection, reported Reuters.

State District Court Judge Francis Mathew wrote in his decision that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, founder of a group called "Cowboys for Trump," violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he took part in the riot that left four people dead and 100 police officers injured, disqualifying him from holding local, state or federal office.

On Jan. 6, Griffin joined thousands of people at the Capitol. He breached security barriers outside of the building and eventually assumed a leadership role in the mob and egged on the violence, Mathew said in his ruling.

Griffin "incited, encouraged and helped normalize the violence," Mathew wrote. Griffin's actions were "overt acts in support of the insurrection."

Griffin is the first elected official to be removed from office for their involvement in the riot. The ruling also marks the first time a judge has ruled that the incident was an insurrection and the first time since 1869 that a judge has removed a public official under Section 3.

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