WASHINGTON (AP) — An elected official who was a central determine in a New Mexico county’s refusal to certify recent election results based mostly on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines averted extra jail time on Friday for becoming a member of the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol.
Couy Griffin, who based the political group Cowboys for Trump, was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment. U.S. District Choose Trevor McFadden gave Griffin credit score for the 20 days he already served in jail after his arrest.
Federal prosecutors and a probation officer had each really helpful a sentence of three months imprisonment. Griffin confronted a most jail sentence of 1 12 months for his misdemeanor conviction.
After a trial with no jury, McFadden convicted Griffin in March of getting into a restricted space outdoors the Capitol in the course of the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, however acquitted him of a disorderly conduct cost. Griffin didn’t go into the constructing itself and wasn’t accused of partaking in any violence or destruction.
McFadden, who was nominated by President Donald Trump, additionally ordered Griffin to pay a $3,000 high quality and $500 in restitution and carry out 60 hours of neighborhood service.
The punishment for Griffin’s position within the riot that delayed the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory and despatched lawmakers operating for his or her lives got here the identical day Griffin’s Republican-dominated county fee confronted a deadline to certify its election outcomes.
Otero County commissioners opted 2-1 to certify the outcomes throughout an emergency assembly Friday. Griffin alone refused to certify, becoming a member of the assembly remotely hours after his sentencing in Washington. The 2 who voted to certify stated they’d no alternative underneath state legislation and might be solely a rubber stamp. In addition they acknowledged an order by the state Supreme Court docket and subsequent threats of authorized motion by the Democratic state lawyer common.
Whereas there was no proof of fraud, the actions by the fee had threatened to disenfranchise greater than 7,300 voters within the politically conservative space of southern New Mexico.
Throughout his sentencing, Griffin claimed the fee “discovered main discrepancies” in an election audit. He didn’t elaborate however stated, “That’s all we wish, is transparency and fact.”
McFadden stated he didn’t issue that scenario into his sentencing of Griffin. However the choose stated public officers like Griffin should be held to the next commonplace.
“We want our elected officers to help this nation,” McFadden stated.
Throughout the riot, Griffin shouted his unsubstantiated perception that the election was stolen from Trump, climbed a toppled fence and one other barrier to entry the Capitol steps and used a bullhorn to guide the throngs in prayer.
Griffin advised McFadden that he solely went to the Capitol to hope with others.
“My actions on Jan. 6 had been the results of my religion,” he stated.
McFadden stated the Capitol riot was a “nationwide embarrassment” and known as it “preposterous” for Griffin to say that he didn’t know he couldn’t be on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6.
“I’m not satisfied, even somewhat bit,” the choose stated.
A day after the Capitol siege, Griffin made a social media video expressing his intention to return to Washington and speaking in regards to the prospect of holding a gun rights rally on the Capitol steps, saying “there’s gonna be blood operating out of that constructing.”
“However on the finish of the day, you mark my phrase, we are going to plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Donald J. Trump if it boils all the way down to it,” Griffin stated.
A minimum of 21 riot defendants have pleaded responsible to a single depend of the identical misdemeanor cost that Griffin was convicted of by the choose. Judges handed down jail sentences starting from 10 days to a few months in 14 of these instances, in response to an AP overview of courtroom data.
Prosecutors stated Griffin has proven a scarcity of contrition for his actions in the course of the assault. Griffin bragged at a county fee assembly about violating orders from police to remain out of the restricted space, has unfold conspiracy theories about what occurred on Jan. 6 and has made social media posts that questioned the conclusions of the choose overseeing his case, prosecutors stated.
Protection lawyer Nicholas Smith maintained Griffin is remorseful and believes he acquired a good trial.
However the choose stated Griffin’s lack of contrition and obvious disdain for the prison justice system is “very regarding.”
Griffin is likely one of the few riot defendants who isn’t accused of getting into the Capitol constructing or partaking in any violent or harmful habits.
Greater than 800 folks have been charged with federal crimes associated to the Jan. 6 riot. Over 300 of them have pleaded responsible and almost 200 have been sentenced.
Billeaud reported from Phoenix. Related Press reporter Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, contributed to this report.