Trump supporter who rode his horse through SLC charged with entering U.S. Capitol illegally

Couy Griffin, leader of Cowboys for Trump, said he did not go into the building on Jan. 6, but a video shows him in restricted areas.

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) Couy Griffin from New Mexico rides his horse down State Street in Salt Lake City, Thursday, April 16, 2020. Griffin was arrested Jan. 17, 2021 on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Santa Fe, N.M. • A New Mexico county official and founder of the group Cowboys for Trump who had vowed to return to Washington after last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk was arrested Sunday by the FBI.

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol.

According to court documents, Griffin told investigators that he was “caught up” in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol, but he said he did not enter the building and instead remained on the U.S. Capitol steps.

A video posted to Griffin’s personal Facebook page shows Griffin in the restricted areas, according to the affidavit.

Griffin did not immediately respond to phone or text messages seeking comment.

Last April, Griffin rode his horse through downtown Salt Lake City with Cowboys for Trump, which rode through major U.S. cities starting with San Francisco on April 12, 2020, and ending with New York City on May 1.

On Thursday, Griffin said he planned to travel with firearms to Washington, D.C., for Biden’s inauguration.

“I’m gonna be there on Jan. 20 ... and I’m gonna take a stand for our country and for our freedoms,” Griffin said during a meeting of the Otero County Board of Commissioners.

“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,” he said.