Couy Griffin was wanted on an arrest warrant after storming the barricades of the Capitol Jan. 6, said authorities. He drove back from his New Mexico home in time for the inauguration Wednesday, a journey he chronicled on Facebook.
Griffin said in a chilling Facebook video clip on “Inside Edition” last Monday that “there’s going to be blood running” from the Capitol when rioters return.
“There will never be a Biden presidency,” he vowed in an interview on the program. “We’re not going to allow it.”
Griffin was charged in a criminal complaint Friday with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds” in the Capitol attack. Authorities did not reveal if Griffin was found with guns when he was arrested Sunday.
On Thursday, Griffin told his fellow commissioners that he planned to travel with his guns back to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“I’m gonna be there on January 20 ... and I’m gonna take a stand for our country and for our freedoms,” Griffin said in a videotaped meeting of the Otero County Board of Commissioners.
“I’ve got a .357 Henry Big Boy rifle, lever action, that I’ve got in the trunk of my car and I’ve got a .357 single-action revolver, the Colt Ruger Vaquero, that I’ll have underneath the front seat ... and I will embrace my Second Amendment,” he warned in a disturbing speech. He baselessly insisted at the meeting that the presidential election was “fraudulent on every level. It was stolen by Communist China. The evidence is irrefutable.”
There is no such evidence.
On the Facebook video where he vowed blood would run, which has since been taken down, Griffin also stated: “At the end of the day, you mark my word, we will plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi,” said an FBI affidavit presented with the criminal complaint against Griffin.
He told FBI agents who interviewed him that he hoped a change in leadership could be accomplished “without a single shot being fired.” But he noted if that was not an option, “that’s off the table for the sake of freedom,” the affidavit stated.
Threatening messages concerning the inauguration have also been posted on his Cowboys for Trump Facebook page. “You wanna fight? Well now you got it!!! January 20th!!!!!” read a Saturday post.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Saturday called on Griffin to resign from the Otero County Commission. After Griffin’s arrest, Balderas said he would take action to remove Griffin from office.
His “participation in the violent insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol ... is a direct violation of your sworn oath of office, and a danger to our society,” Balderas told Griffin in a letter. “Your incendiary comments from the steps of the Capitol and your calls to incite violence against the foundation of our nation’s democracy cannot be tolerated from an elected official.”
Griffin could not immediately be reached for comment. He told FBI agents that he got “caught up” in the attack on the Capitol, but that he did not enter the building. He was videotaped, however, beyond the barricades in restricted areas, according to the affidavit.