Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin, who is facing charges in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot, has turned on the former president in a conference speech for abandoning January 6 rioters and failing to deliver on a campaign promise.
Griffin is facing misdemeanor criminal charges in the insurrection on the Capitol on January 6, where he was seen attempting to lead a crowd of rioters in prayer on an outdoor terrace. He supports Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, but denies that he knowingly entered restricted grounds to disrupt Congress certifying President Joe Biden‘s election win.
“We supported President Trump because of his fight for justice as well. And for four years we cried, ‘Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up.’ We know she’s a criminal. What did the president tell us? ‘If I was in charge of the law, you’d be in jail,'” Griffin said Sunday at a QAnon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Mr. President, you’ve been in charge of the law for four years,” he added. “At the end of your four year time, the only ones locked up were men like me, and others like me, that have stood by the president the strongest.”
In 2019, Griffin led a group of rodeo associates to form Cowboys for Trump, who held parades to show support for the Trump administration.
Last month, Griffin defeated efforts to recall him as county commissioner in southern New Mexico. Under state rules, a recall petition needs an amount of signatures that’s equal to 33.3 percent of participation in the last election, and the petition fell short of the required signatures for a special election to be held.
A mob of Trump supporters, emboldened by baseless allegations of a stolen election, stormed the House and Senate chambers on January 6 to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s election win.
Trump released a video on January 7 explicitly condemning the rioters. “Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem,” he said, adding that the mob had “defiled the seat of American democracy.”
More than 680 people have been charged in the insurrection so far and some have argued in court documents that they were merely following the former president’s guidance.
In his legal defense, Capitol rioter Emanuel Jackson, a Washington area man, cited Trump’s remarks at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington D.C., which preceded the riot.
“Fight like hell. We will not take it anymore,” the former president said, as he encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol.
Newsweek reached out to Trump representatives for comment.