A New Mexico county official was convicted of entering a restricted area during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. District Judge Francis Mathew ruled that Couy Griffin violated the Fourteenth Amendment and must be immediately removed from office. The judge said Griffin is "barred for life" from serving or holding any civil or military office federally or in any state. Griffin told NPR that he was shocked by the ruling, and that it was unfair and “purely political.” He believes he was a target due to his relationship with former President Trump. "I didn't have any intent of being a part of an insurrection or a violent mob. My intent of going to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 was because I had concerns that our elections had been compromised."
Noah Bookbinder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said the ruling is the first time since the Civil War era that any public official has been removed for violating the Fourteenth Amendment. Bookbinder said the ruling sends a message to other public officials who have been undermining the results of the 2020 election. The judge said Griffin’s group, Cowboys for Trump, played a key role in mobilization efforts. On the day of the Capitol riot, a video shows Griffin “working up” supporters of Trump, in addition to breaching multiple security barriers. Griffin said said he was not violent, but a criminal court convicted him of misdemeanor trespassing. He plans to appeal. "I do regret the actions of many on that day that fought with police officers and destroyed government property," he said. "I regret their actions but I don't regret my actions. My own actions were lawful."