On January 6, the Founder of Cowboys for Trump Was Convicted of Entering Restricted U.s. Capitol Grounds | Latest News!

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Washington – The organization’s founder “On January 6, he was found guilty of entering restricted U.S. Capitol grounds as part of the Cowboys for Trump organization, but he was cleared of another misdemeanor charge of disruptive behavior.

County Griffin was found guilty of illegally entering Capitol grounds in the vicinity of then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the Capitol building to certify the counting of the Electoral College votes and remained in the Capitol complex during the riot, by Judge Trevor McFadden from the bench on Tuesday.

As the attack developed, Pence was brought to an underground loading dock beneath the Capitol building, according to a US Secret Service Inspector. Following a day-long endeavor that began Monday morning between prosecutors and the United States Capitol Police Board, a video of Pence’s activities on January 6 was disclosed to the Court.

Griffin was found not guilty of the second charge of disruptive conduct by McFadden, who said Tuesday that Griffin’s attempt to persuade the audience to pray with him was “arguably” not disorderly, but rather an attempt to quiet the mob down.

Griffin, who arrived at the courthouse in a truck towing a horse trailer and wearing a cowboy hat, was accused of being present on the restricted Capitol grounds that law enforcement had cordoned off and closed to the public ahead of the election certification. Griffin was not accused of any act of physical violence or even entering the Capitol building at all on January 6, but of being present on the restricted Capitol grounds that law enforcement had cordoned off and closed to the public ahead of the election certification.

In the weeks after the attack, he was detained and placed in pretrial detention before his legal team was successful in obtaining his court-ordered release. Griffin insisted on his innocence, claiming that he had no idea Pence was still in the neighborhood.

Unlike the first trial, in which rioter Guy Reffitt was convicted on several criminal counts by a jury, Griffin chose a bench trial, in which a federal judge would quickly hear evidence from both sides and decide his fate.

Griffin told CBS News that he would have preferred a jury trial anyplace other than Washington, D.C. since he believes it would be difficult to get a fair jury in the capital. He said, “I wear January 6 like a badge of honor.” “

Griffin, the first elected official to face charges in the probe that began on January 6, did not testify in his defense.

Even though the trial took longer than expected to reach its second day on Tuesday, McFadden delivered a swift decision in the split verdict.

Matthew Struck, a filmmaker and former member of Cowboys for Trump, testified Monday that he traveled to Washington, D.C. with Griffin ahead of former President Trump’s Save America event on January 6. In exchange for his testimony against his former friend, Struck was granted legal immunity.

Struck recorded the Capitol attack on his iPhone, and the government showed some of them before the judge, including one in which additional members of the crowd were seen ascending the Capitol’s walls. Struck and Griffin were observed ascending a flight of stairs to a makeshift platform placed on the west face of the building for President Biden’s inauguration.

On January 6, the Founder of Cowboys for Trump Was Convicted of Entering Restricted U.s. Capitol Grounds (2)
On January 6, the Founder of Cowboys for Trump Was Convicted of Entering Restricted U.s. Capitol Grounds | Latest News!

“I adore the scent of napalm in the air,” Griffin allegedly exclaimed in one of the films as he approached the inaugural stage, according to prosecutors. On Monday, Struck had to listen to his video from the riot several times in court to figure out what the defendant truly said before agreeing with prosecutors. Griffin knew he was on restricted premises, according to the government, based on this and other remarks made during and after the riot.

Struck claimed Griffin, who is also a preacher, sought to pray over them and acted nonviolently as the mob chanted “stop the theft.”

“We had come to pray. We prayed before departing “During cross-examination, Struck remarked of the duo’s appearance at the Capitol. Griffin did not threaten physical violence, he testified, nor did he communicate with any law enforcement personnel outside the facility.

Prosecutors also showed the court footage of Griffin taken before and after the riot, which Struck allegedly only recently given over in response to additional requests for evidence. The defense argued that these recordings should not be put into evidence because the government shared them for review too soon before the trial, and the judge agreed, ruling that the majority of them should be excluded from evidence to be fair to the defendant.
“I sat two feet from where Joe Biden or whoever would be inaugurated in as president,” Griffin said in one of the films filmed on January 7, 2021, “it was just like a giant great Trump rally.”

“We have the defendant’s declarations that he knew this location was prohibited,” prosecutor Janani Iyengar said in her closing statement on Tuesday, trying to persuade the court that Griffin’s case is straightforward. “The defendant was displeased with the election’s certification.”

The contested testimony of United States Secret Service Inspector Lanelle Hawa, who prosecutors called to confirm that then-Vice President Mike Pence was indeed present within the restricted Capitol complex and intended to return to the Capitol building on January 6, was also a key component of the charges against Griffin, was also an issue during the bench trial.

On January 6, the Founder of Cowboys for Trump Was Convicted of Entering Restricted U.s. Capitol Grounds (1)
On January 6, the Founder of Cowboys for Trump Was Convicted of Entering Restricted U.s. Capitol Grounds | Latest News!

To avoid disclosing potentially sensitive information regarding Pence’s movements, the government tried unsuccessfully to limit the types of questions the defense could ask Hawa during cross-examination. The judge dismissed this request, stating that Pence’s whereabouts on January 6 are important to the accusations in Griffin’s case and that it was up to the government to strike a balance between proving its case and maintaining appropriate confidentiality.

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Hawa and a Capitol Police inspector testified that the whole Capitol building, as well as the basement Capitol Visitor Center and cargo port, were closed to the public in advance of Pence’s work on Capitol Hill on January 6. The limited area, according to Hawa, was not unusual, but rather an “agreed-upon conventional perimeter” based on the Secret Service and Capitol Police’s long-standing partnership.

During the Capitol riot, Pence was transported from the Senate floor to his ceremonial office and then to a safe, subterranean loading dock located beneath the Capitol building, under the Senate side plaza, according to Hawa.

In pretrial filings and throughout the bench trial, defense counsel Nicholas Smith contended that the case was more complicated than the government’s portrayal. He stated, “This case is constructed on a series of faulty assumptions and premises.

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His client had no idea Pence was in the Capitol complex during the riot; instead, he assumed the election had already been confirmed and Pence had departed the area, implying that access to the Capitol complex had been restored. Regardless of what happened, Smith contended, Griffin’s “state of mind” was that he was not approaching the sitting Vice President and thus was not breaking the law, an argument that McFadden scoffed at even before Griffin was found guilty, calling it “preposterous” in practice.

During Tuesday’s final remarks, the judge asked Smith, “Nobody thinks that random tourists can just waltz up there, right?” The defense attorney promptly responded that case law makes it obvious that this is not the case. “That’s the opposite of incitement,” Smith said, describing Griffin’s prayer and speaking to a calm section of the mob.

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The judge agreed with the defense on this point, acquitting Griffin of disorderly behavior after prosecutors failed to identify the defendant’s acts as fulfilling the legal definition of unruly.

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