February 17, 2022

Federal judge: Cowboys for Trump must disclose donors

Couy Griffin at a Trump rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

A Donald Trump-supporting political group run by a controversial New Mexico county commissioner must disclose its donors, a federal appeals court judge ruled Tuesday, affirming a lower court’s previous decision.

The judge ruled in a case where Cowboys for Trump challenged the constitutionality of New Mexico’s Campaign Reporting Act, after the Secretary of State ordered the group to identify who funded the group.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas heralded the decision.

“All elected officials and dark money groups in this nation must follow election reporting requirements in order to protect the public interest, and no one is above the law,” he said.

Cowboys for Trump is run by Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner who traveled throughout the country in support of former President Donald Trump.

Griffin is currently facing charges related to participation in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, in which supporters of Trump attempted to force Congress to overturn election results that showed Trump lost to Joe Biden. The trial is currently set for March.

Griffin filed the suit, along with a former member of the group, Karyn Griffin.

Balderas said that Griffin set up Cowboys for Trump as a limited liability corporation in an attempt to evade campaign finance transparency requirements.

The judge, Timothy M. Tymkovich, was appointed by President George W. Bush.