A New Mexico judge has ordered Cowboys for Trump founder, Cuoy Griffin, removed from office for participating in the Capitol attack under the Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment. Section 3 of that amendment “bars any person from holding federal or state office who took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States,” engaging in “insurrection, or rebellion,” or giving “aid or comfort” to those committing insurrection.
District Court Judge Francis Matthew wrote in his ruling:
“When men gather to resist the civil or political power of the United States or to oppose the execution of its laws and are in such force that the civil authorities are inadequate, and a considerable military force is needed to accomplish the result, they become insurgents; and every person who knowingly incites, aids or abets them, no matter what his motives may be is likewise an insurgent.”
Judge Matthew dismissed Griffin’s argument that to remove him from his position as County Commissioner would go against the “will of the people” of Otero County – calling out the hypocrisy:
“The irony of Mr. Griffin’s argument that this court should refrain from applying the law and consider the will of the people of District Two of Otero County who retained him as a County Commissioner against a recall effort as he attempts to defend his participation in an insurrection by a mob whose goal, by his own admission, was to set aside the results of a free, fair and lawful election by a majority of the people of the entire country (the will of the people) has not escaped the court,” Judge Matthew wrote.
Filing the lawsuit on behalf of a group of New Mexico residents, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), along with members of local law firms, applauded District Court Judge Francis Matthew’s decision.
“This is a historic win for accountability for the January 6th insurrection and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the United States. Protecting American democracy means ensuring those who violate their oaths to the Constitution are held responsible,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and then participated in the January 6th insurrection can and will be removed and barred from government service for their actions.”
Judge Matthew’s decision is the first time Section three has been enforced since 1919 when Congress refused to seat a socialist member who was accused of giving aid and comfort to Germany during World War I, according to The New York Times. It was also the first time that the Jan. 6th Capitol riot has been referred to as an “insurrection” in a legal decision.
Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) hopes it won’t be the last. The outspoken Democratic congressman tweeted:
More than anyone else in America, this should apply to Donald Trump. https://t.co/oLdKtlm57W
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) September 6, 2022
Taking office two years before breaching the Capitol, Griffin took an oath to “support and uphold the Constitution and laws of the State of New Mexico, and the Constitution of the United States.”
“The Court’s findings that Mr. Griffin engaged in repeated efforts to mobilize a mob and incite them to violence on January 6, 2021 amply support the Court’s conclusion that he is unqualified under the Fourteenth Amendment to hold public office,” said Daniel Small of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.
“Mr. Griffin and his organization Cowboys for Trump, played a key role in the Stop the Steal movement’s mobilization ahead of January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol,” wrote Judge Matthew.
On November 4th, the Cowboys for Trump founder attended a local Stop the Steal rally in Albuquerque, NM. The Commissioner appeared with the New Mexico Civil Guard – sued by the state as an “illegal” militia, according to the judge’s order – and took several firearms and ammunition to D.C – proven by video recorded by his friend and co-traveler Matthew Struck which shows Griffin loading his car with a gun. The now-former Commissioner made multiple violence-inciting posts on social media, according to the judge. Griffin even went on a multi-city Cowboys for Trump bus tour to recruit Jan. 6 participants to join the Stop the Steal movement.
Five days before the Capitol attack, Griffin gave a speech in the Woodlands, Texas telling the crowd: “We have everything to lose right now. And this is a battle and a war that we cannot lose…” Continuing to rile up the base, he added
“We have to march into this charge with no, no, no lose, no surrender. If any of you all need a lesson, on what it takes to stand, read the lesson of the Alamo. Those were men that drew a hard line…They stood on it. Meet us in Washington, D.C. Be there. Let’s stand together and let’s get ‘er done.”
Attorney for the plaintiffs, Christopher Dodd, was pleased with Judge Matthew’s decision saying, “January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our history. The court’s ruling today is a historic moment for our country. Mr. Griffin’s removal and bar from holding office again is a step towards obtaining justice and restoring the rule of law.”
Original source Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
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