WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – A Republican member of a governing fee in New Mexico who based a bunch referred to as “Cowboys for Trump” was sentenced in federal court docket on Friday to 14 days in jail over his function in breaching the U.S. Capitol grounds throughout the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
However the man, Couy Griffin, will get credit score for the 20 days he already served in pretrial detention, and won’t be required to report back to jail, the choose stated. He was additionally ordered to pay a $3,000 advantageous and serve 60 days of group service.
Griffin is certainly one of three members of the Republican-led Otero County fee that’s refusing to certify June’s major election outcomes, citing unfounded conspiracy theories about voting machines.
Griffin was convicted in a bench trial in March of a misdemeanor depend of coming into and remaining on restricted grounds on Jan. 6, 2021.
In contrast to most of the greater than 840 defendants within the Capitol riot circumstances, Griffin didn’t bodily enter the constructing itself.
He was acquitted of a second misdemeanor of disorderly conduct.
At his sentencing listening to in Washington on Friday, Griffin informed U.S. District Choose Trevor McFadden that his Christian religion prompted him to enter the Capitol grounds that day, and he swore he “could possibly be struck useless proper now” when he stated he actually didn’t know he was on restricted grounds.
“My actions on Jan. 6 have been the results of my religion,” he stated. “I acquired that message to go pray with individuals.”
Prosecutors within the case had sought a sentence of 90 days in jail, with credit score for 20 days served.
They cited Twitter posts Griffin wrote, together with one by which he blasted McFadden’s ruling to convict him within the case, calling it “prewritten” and “pathetic.” “I ponder who wrote it?” the tweet requested.
“All of that goes to point out he doesn’t have any regret by any means,” prosecutor Janani Iyengar stated.
Though McFadden didn’t impose further jail time, he however had harsh phrases for Griffin and referred to as the Capitol riots “a nationwide embarrassment.”
He informed Griffin it was “preposterous” to say he didn’t know he was violating the legislation, and blasted his inflammatory Twitter posts, which he stated contradicted Griffin’s claims of contrition.
“Typically, sir, you’re in all probability your personal worst enemy,” McFadden stated.
He additionally chastised Griffin, saying that as an elected official he swore to uphold the rule of legislation. “I urge you to think about the oath you’ve got taken,” he stated.
Griffin’s sentencing comes simply two days after New Mexico’s Supreme Court docket ordered Otero County’s Republican-led fee to certify June’s major election outcomes. learn extra
The fee can also be dealing with a prison referral by the Democratic-led secretary of state’s workplace to the state’s lawyer common. The referral asks the state to open an investigation into “a number of illegal actions…that straight implicate prison violations of the Election Code and the Governmental Conduct Act.”
Throughout his sentencing listening to, Griffin continued to insist there was fraud within the election, telling McFadden an audit had uncovered “main discrepancies.” He described himself as a “sufferer” of political backlash who has been labeled as “loopy and right-wing and white supremacist.”
Later, in feedback exterior the courthouse to reporters, he stated he would decline to adjust to the state court docket’s order to alter his vote and certify the June 7 major outcomes.
“All we need to do is hand-count the ballots which can be proper now resting within the Dominion machine,” he stated.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Modifying by Leslie Adler and Daniel Wallis