Judge orders 'Cowboys for Trump' leader held without bail over Capitol riot charge

A federal judge on Monday ordered a New Mexico county commissioner and "Cowboys for Trump" leader be held in detention while awaiting trial over charges stemming from the riot at the Capitol last month.

Couy Griffin, a commissioner in Otero County, N.M., is facing one charge of unlawful entry stemming from the Jan. 6 riot.

Federal Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui said he was concerned about Griffin's public comments regarding the 2020 election and the demonstration that ended up overrunning the Capitol, leaving five people dead. 

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"I don't believe that he will believe that [my] orders are to be respected or followed," Faruqui said during a hearing on Monday.

Prosecutors allege that Griffin was at the riot at the Capitol, pointing to comments he made on social media that he had "climbed up on top of the Capitol building and ... had a first row seat."

The U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., had asked that Griffin be held without bail, arguing that he is a flight risk and referring to comments he had made about returning to Washington for President Biden's inauguration. In one video that was posted on Facebook and later removed, Griffin denied that the riot was a violent mob and said if the demonstrators returned to hold a Second Amendment rally, "there’s gonna be blood running out of that building."

Griffin's attorneys had sought to have him released, arguing that he had never entered the Capitol building during the riot and intended to abide by the court's orders. 

Griffin founded Cowboys for Trump to organize rallies for the former president. According to the group's website, Griffin spoke with Trump three times in 2019, including at a meeting at the White House. 

Faruqui set a preliminary hearing in Griffin's case for Feb. 8.