The FBI arrested Couy Griffin, a New Mexico County Commissioner and charged on him on Sunday with on one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.
According to a federal affidavit, investigators got a tip that Griffin, from Otero County, New Mexico, was at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They say he posted videos to his Facebook page showing that he intended to return to Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day and, as he put it, “plant our flag” on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
An FBI and Metro Police investigation revealed that Griffin is the founder of an organization called “Cowboys for our Trump.” After the riot on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI found a video on the “Cowboys for Trump” Facebook page in which the County Commissioner said that he “climbed up on the top of the Capitol Building and…had a first-row seat.”
Federal court documents also revealed what Griffin made several statements on videos he posted, including:
“You want to say that that was a mob? You want to say that was violence? No sir. No, Ma’am. , No we could have a 2nd Amendment rally on those same steps that we had that rally yesterday. You know, and if we do, then it’s gonna be a sad day, because there’s gonna be blood running out of that building. But at the end of the day, you mark my word; we will plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Donald J. Trump if it boils down to it.”
The FBI interviewed Griffin on January 11 about the day of the riot. Griffin told them he was “caught up” in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the Capitol’s restricted area. He also added he thought the event would be peaceful and that police never asked him to leave the area.
Griffin told investigators that he did not enter the Capitol building at any time and remained on the Capitol steps.
According to the criminal complaint, Griffin told the FBI that he planned to return to Washington DC on January 20 for a rally and hoped it would be a non-violent protest.
Federal court documents include several photos of Griffin at the scene during a local television news report. In the video, Griffin said,
“it is a great day for America! The people are showing that they’ve had enough. People are ready for fair and legal elections, or this is what you are going to get; you’re going to get more of it.”
The T.V. show Inside Edition also had a video of Griffin on January 6 where he said,
“We are not going anywhere. We are not going to take for no for an answer. We are not going to get our election stolen from us from China.”
Investigators discovered Griffin spoke for seventeen minutes to the Otero County, New Mexico council on January 14, where he said he would return to D.C. on Inauguration day armed with firearms.
According to court documents, Griffin said,
“I’ve got a .357 Henry big boy rifle . . . that I got in the trunk of my car, and I’ve got a .357single-action revolver . . . that I will have underneath the front seat on my right side. And I will embrace my Second Amendment, I will keep my right to bear arms, my vehicle is an extension of my home in regard to the constitution law, and I have a right to have those firearms in my car.”
No court date has been set for Griffin.
The FBI continues looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.