For years, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell tried to scare us into believing they were appointing and confirming judges who would automatically side with Trumpism over America and rationalize insurrectionism over the rule of law. Although Trump would one day leave office, the idea was a judiciary beholden to the demagogue’s most fanatic supporters would nevertheless be firmly installed.
Fortunately, this nightmare scenario hasn’t come to pass. The latest example of a Trump-appointed judge refusing to rubber-stamp Trumpian behavior is Judge Trevor McFadden lassoing Couy Griffin, the founder of the “Cowboys for Trump” group. A proud participant in the Capitol attack of January 6, Griffin tried to get his charges dismissed using some off-the-rails arguments.
If Griffin assumed he could escape accountability merely because the judge has Trump to thank for his job, he was in for a rude awakening. On Friday, McFadden upheld the criminal charges against Griffin in a written ruling, rejecting Griffin’s desperate arguments as baseless and profoundly conspiratorial.
Griffin argued he was “selectively charged” because he’s a Trump supporter, and that he’s being treated unfairly because other insurrectionists at the Capitol haven’t been charged. However, McFadden wrote that the Justice Department may have legitimate reasons to prosecute Griffin, a commissioner for Otero County, New Mexico, given his “leadership role in the crowd, position as an elected official, and more blatant conduct at the scene.”
McFadden didn’t stop there. Griffin also tried to convince McFadden to drop the charges by claiming that January 6 insurrectionists are being treated worse than people arrested while protesting Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Capitol grounds. McFadden didn’t buy it, ruling this victimhood argument is “not a basis to dismiss the charges.” McFadden also shot down Griffin’s argument that the federal trespassing law that forms the basis for his and hundreds of other arrests that day is somehow inapplicable.
When it comes to dangerous, unlawful behavior, the Capitol attack on January 6 wasn’t Griffin’s first rodeo. The self-proclaimed Trump Cowboy said that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” questioned whether Capitol Police Office Brian Sicknick was dead, and has promoted his birtherism credentials, according to a report from CNN.
Griffin’s Trumpian antics aren’t playing so well at home. On Thursday, the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin began circulating a petition for a recall election, claiming Griffin neglected his job as county commissioner and committed several acts of malfeasance, such as using county resources for his Cowboys for Trump business and accepting an illegal gift. Griffin may soon be out of a job and, thanks to a Trump-appointed judge, on the gloomy path to federal prison.