Cowboys for Trump leader charged in failure to register group - Albuquerque Journal

Cowboys for Trump leader charged in failure to register group

In this May 2021 photo, Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin presides at a public meeting in Alamogordo, N.M., in a shirt with a “C4T” logo that stands for Cowboys for Trump. (Morgan Lee/Associated Press)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office has charged a controversial Otero County commissioner with failing to register his pro-Trump organization as a political committee.

Couy Griffin, 48, is facing a misdemeanor count of violating the campaign reporting act by failing to register Cowboys for Trump, or C4T, as a political committee with the Secretary of State.

Griffin, cofounder of C4T, was dealt a blow last month when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reverse a ruling that the group had to register in New Mexico as a political organization.

In 2020, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver ordered Griffin to register Cowboys for Trump before the group challenged the law in court.

The AG’s Office, in a release Friday, said Griffin had still not complied with the order to register, nor filed the required reports or paid the statutory fine of $7,800.

“We live in a nation that ensures that no elected official is above the law,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement. “Citizens have the right to expect reporting and disclosure transparency from all elected officials.”

When reached by phone Friday, Griffin said the AG should focus on more important matters.

“Hector can take his misdemeanor and … give it to someone else,” he said, adding that the AG’s Office should focus on getting justice for the women he says were sexually assaulted on Jeffrey Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico.

Griffin said he has asked the court to reconsider its ruling on Cowboys for Trump and expects to win the “second time around.”

Griffin is one of hundreds of Trump supporters charged with knowingly entering restricted areas of Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

His trial, which starts next week, will be the second among those arrested in the riot.

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