Accused U.S. Capitol rioter asks judge to let her go on Mexico vacation

Security questions raised after pro-Trump mob overruns Capitol (Jan 6)

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all — especially when you’re facing charges for allegedly joining an anti-democratic mob.

A Texas woman charged in the U.S. Capitol riot last month has asked a federal judge to let her leave the country for a prepaid vacation in Mexico, which the flower-shop owner has billed as a “work-related bonding retreat.”

Jenny Cudd, of Midland, Texas, submitted the request in federal court on Monday. Her lawyers argue that she booked the Mexico retreat before attending the pro-Trump riot on Jan. 6, and it would really ruin her plans if she were not allowed to go.

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Cudd was charged last month with knowingly entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. She was briefly arrested and later released, as the U.S. Justice Department has only been jailing suspects accused of particularly violent acts in the riot.

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Cudd entered the Capitol with a friend and gleefully celebrated the breach on a live-streamed video from inside the Rotunda, according to an FBI affidavit filed in court. The affidavit includes screenshots of video showing Cudd inside the Rotunda.

Jenny Cudd, of Midland, Texas, is shown inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda after a mob breached it on Jan. 6, 2021, in this image from video on her Facebook page. U.S. Justice Department

Authorities say Cudd joined the attack on the Capitol after listening to now-former U.S. president Donald Trump, who whipped up a mob of his supporters into a frenzy with false claims of election fraud.

“We were on the South Lawn listening to the President and before the speech was over we started to head up to the Capitol,” Cudd said in a live-streamed video, according to the affidavit. Cudd also allegedly described getting into the building. “We just pushed, pushed and pushed, and yelled ‘go’ and yelled ‘charge.’”

Click to play video: 'Capitol officer Brian Sicknick killed in riot was a ‘family man’, says Schumer during tribute' Capitol officer Brian Sicknick killed in riot was a ‘family man’, says Schumer during tribute
Capitol officer Brian Sicknick killed in riot was a ‘family man’, says Schumer during tribute – Feb 3, 2021

Authorities say Cudd was proud of joining the riot, and boasted about it afterward on Facebook.

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“I f—ing charged the Capitol today with patriots today,” she said in a video, according to the affidavit. “Hell yes, I am proud of my actions.”

Authorities say Cudd also bragged about breaking into Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office.

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“We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s (sic) office door and somebody stole her gavel and took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera,” she said in a video, according to the affidavit. The document also cites a news interview Cudd provided on Jan. 8, in which she said: “We the patriots did storm the U.S. Capitol,” before adding: “Yes, I would absolutely do it again.”

Cudd is one of many accused rioters who inadvertently helped the FBI by posting selfies and videos of themselves inside the Capitol during the riot.

Cudd told The Associated Press that she did not do anything violent or destroy any property during the riot. She also denied entering Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Her lawyers previously told CNN she will plead not guilty.

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Authorities have charged more than 160 individuals in connection with the riot to date, and are still trying to identify others through the vast quantity of photos posted during the event.

Cudd hopes to fly to the Riviera Maya in Mexico on Feb. 18 for her “retreat.” The area has continued to accept travellers despite the pandemic.

The federal judge in Cudd’s case had not ruled on her request as of Thursday morning.

With files from The Associated Press

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