Cowboys for Trump leader seeks jail release
SANTA FE — Defense attorneys for jailed Cowboys for Trump leader Couy Griffin urged a federal judge Wednesday to release the New Mexico county commissioner and gun rights advocate as he awaits trial in Washington in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol.
Federal prosecutors want Griffin, a resident of Tularosa, held without bail in Washington — as a flight risk and danger to others — on charges that he knowingly entered the Capitol grounds with the intent to disrupt government business. Prosecutors cite a history of threatening comments, racial invective, access to firearms and vows that Joe Biden would never be president.
In federal court filings, attorneys for Griffin said federal authorities have been misleading and selective in their characterization of Griffin’s comments to FBI agents and in public, noting that he is a Christian pastor and “not a mafia member.”
The filings also show that Griffin told FBI agents that he never went inside the Capitol. He did, however, post videos on social media showing himself on an exterior balcony of the Capitol amid throngs of Donald Trump supporters as a mob stormed the building.
He 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.
More than 150 people have been charged in federal court with crimes following the Jan. 6 riot.
“If the government is not going to prosecute most of the 800 people who surged into the building, why should they continue to pursue Mr. Griffin, who didn’t even approach the entrance to the Capitol building?” attorneys for Griffin said in court filings. “By the time the court reads this, Mr. Griffin will have already spent over a week in solitary detention at the D.C. jail, which ought to be enough to punish him for his actions.”