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Was a Capitol Rioter Allowed to Take a Vacation in Mexico?

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Jenny Cudd, who took part in the January 2021 attack against the U.S. Capitol, was allowed to take a work "retreat" in Mexico.

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A Texas woman who boasted that she took part in the seditious attack against the U.S. Capitol on January 6 2021 became an online symbol for white privilege in the judicial system after asking for permission to leave the country.

It is true that Jenny Cudd was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of “entering and remaining on restricted grounds and disorderly conduct or violent entry” for entering the building. In a video posted by CBS News reporter David Begnaud, Cudd admits to being inside the building as the attack went on.

“We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s door and somebody stole her gavel and took a picture flipping off the camera and that was on Fox News,” Cudd says in the clip, making an apparent reference to reference to Richard Barnett, an Arkansas man who was also later arrested. “Patriots got down on the floor and were sitting in the House members and the senators’ chairs.”

As the Washington Post reported, Cudd has showed no remorse for her actions:

Cudd insisted that she did not personally destroy anything or go into any offices. Instead, she said, she used the term “we” to refer to “we the patriots.” She said she had walked through an open door after the barricades were broken down. And although the storming of the Capitol left a police officer and four others dead, she continued to defend it.

“I’ve told everybody this: I would do it again in a heartbeat because I did not break any laws,” Cudd said.

Cudd’s attorney filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking for her to be allowed to travel to Mexico to take part in “a work-related bonding retreat” for employees of her flower shop in Midland, Texas, a trip she had already purchased.

“Ms. Cudd has appeared at her scheduled court appearance, remains in constant contact with her attorney, and has remained in contact with pretrial probation, as ordered,” the motion read.

As reports of the request spread online, both USA TodayThe Daily Beast, and Vice published stories saying that the request had been granted. The former report spread further when Eliza Orlins, a candidate for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, highlighted it on Twitter.

“My teenage client remained rear-cuffed at his dad’s funeral,” Orlins wrote. “I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m not going to stop: Two. Systems. Of. Justice.”

However, BuzzFeed reporter Zoe Tillman responded by noting that Cudd’s request has not been granted:

All of the news organizations which had reported on Cudd’s request have posted corrections, clarifications, or updates saying that it had not, in fact, been granted. We contacted the court seeking more information, but we have not yet heard back.

At least 181 people have reportedly been arrested for participating in the right-wing attack against the Capitol, including members of white nationalist groups like the Proud Boys and Three Percenters, although at least 62 have been released on their own recognizance. But authorities have been criticized since the January 6 riot for apparently treating them more gingerly than police did Black Lives Matter protesters across the United States.

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, there wouldn’t have been – they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” U.S. President Joe Biden said prior to his inauguration. “We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable – totally unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, the United States is reportedly considering charging some of those involved in the Capitol attack under a federal law that is generally reserved for organized crime.

On February 4 2021, Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post reported that Cudd was indicted on five counts, including disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building and obstruction of an official proceeding, among others:

Despite this, however, Buzzfeed reported that U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden approved Cudd’s request to take part in the “retreat” on February 5 2021.

“Neither [Cudd’s] pretrial services officer nor the government oppose this request,” he wrote. “The Court also notes the Defendant has no criminal history and there is no evidence before the Court suggesting the Defendant is a flight risk or poses a danger to others.”

Update February 4 2021:Updated with note on Jenny Cudd’s indictment.
Update February 5 2021:Updated to account for Cudd being allowed to take her trip to MExico.

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