‘Cowboys for Trump’ leader Couy Griffin arrested after saying he would return to Washington armed for Biden inauguration

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Couy Griffin, an Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys For Trump founder (Cowboys For Trump)
Couy Griffin, an Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys For Trump founder (Cowboys For Trump)

The leader of "Cowboys for Trump" has been arrested after threatening to return to Washington DC armed in the wake of the US Capitol insurrection two weeks ago.

Couy Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, was taken into custody by the FBI for not only illegally trespassing into the Capitol on 6 January, but vowing to return to Washington DC for Joe Biden's inauguration, and saying that he would be armed.

Mr Griffin, a Republican, is a commissioner in Otero County, New Mexico.

"I'm gonna be there on January 20th ... and I'm gonna take a stand for our country and for our freedoms," Griffin said during an Otero County Board of Commissioners meeting. "I'm gonna leave either tonight or tomorrow. 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 on my right side and I will embrace my Second Amendment."

Shortly after the Capitol riot, Mr Griffin posted a video saying there would be "blood running out of that building" if Donald Trump's supporters had another rally.

"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," Mr Griffin said in the video. "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."

He suggested things might get "more Western" by the time the fallout of the Capitol riot settled.

"Take heed. Take note. Be on guard and be ready because it may get a lot more western than it did yesterday by the time this is all settled," Mr Griffin said.

In another video, Mr Griffin said "the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat." Mr Trump promoted the video on Twitter, with the message "Thank you cowboys! See you in New Mexico."

Mr Trump had even met with Mr Griffin in the Oval Office prior to the tweet and spoke with him on the phone a year before. Mr Griffin said he and the president spoke for a half hour, and Mr Trump even asked Mr Griffin for his personal phone number.

Mr Griffin said he only meant it in a "political sense," suggesting it was intended as some kind of metaphor.

But then Mr Griffin told the Daily Beast that he thought Democrats who closed their states to stem the spread of the coronavirus were guilty of treason and could be tried, noting one of the punishments for treason under US law is execution.

“You get to pick your poison: You either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope,” Mr Griffin said.

When asked if anti-lockdown proponents might resort to violence to achieve their goals, Mr Griffin did not rule it out.

“I’ll tell you what, partner, as far as I’m concerned, there’s not an option that’s not on the table,” he said.

New Mexico's Republican Party issued a statement distancing itself from Mr Griffin following his comments, stating that the man did not speak for the party.

“Mr Griffin does not represent the Republican Party of New Mexico nor does he speak for the party. RPNM does not endorse or condone the statements made by Cowboys for Trump Founder Couy Griffin," a spokesman for the party said. "RPNM condemns violence and any threats of violence against any person or group. What happened in Washington was wrong and was a stain on our great democracy.”

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