Over the past few weeks, Republican lawmakers have made it clear that they are ready to “move on” from last month’s attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol. Apparently, the rioters — who have now been identified and charged with felonies including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds — are ready to put the very recent past behind them, too. Many are complaining about being put on a no-fly list. But one Capitol rioter has taken this to new heights. In a Monday court filing, Jenny Cudd, a small business owner and former mayoral candidate from Midland, TX, requested the court’s permission to travel to Riviera Maya, a tourism hotspot near Cancún.
Cudd was arrested on January 13 and currently faces charges of disorderly conduct and entering and remaining on restricted grounds. She owns a flower store in Midland, and according to her attorney, the trip would be a strict “work-related bonding retreat” for employees and their spouses. “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,” her lawyer wrote.
In a 25-minute livestream shared to Facebook, Cudd admitted to her role in the attack and said that she was proud of her actions. “We didn’t vandalize anything but we did, as I say that, we did break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door and someone stole her gavel and took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera, and that was on Fox News,” she said.
“Do I think that it was wrong for us to go to the Capitol? Absolutely not. Do I think that it was wrong for me to go through an open door and get inside of the Capitol? No, I don’t,” Cudd told CBS before her arrest. “I didn’t break any laws. I didn’t do anything unlawful. And I think that’s probably why the FBI and law enforcement haven’t contacted me yet.” She also said that hundreds of people had left negative reviews for her store, Becky’s Flowers.
On January 21, the U.S. Attorney’s Office decided against giving Cudd a sentence, on several conditions. Among other guidelines, Cudd is not allowed to step foot in Washington, D.C., and also cannot travel outside the U.S. without court approval.
As of earlier this week, over 140 people have been charged with misdemeanors for their actions on January 6. To date, the FBI has received more than 100,000 tips, including photos, videos, and social media posts, reported The New York Times. What’s striking about this attack is that, like Cudd, many of the insurrection’s participants documented (and bragged about) their involvement on social media.
Adam Scott Wandt, an assistant professor of public policy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, noted that some of these online posts (which appeared on Facebook, and also websites like Parler and MyMilitia.com) have since been deleted. “This is very good for government because we have case law here in the United States that if you do something criminally culpable and you put it on social media and you later delete that post, then the deletion of that post could be used as prima facie evidence to the jury that you knew your behavior was wrong,” he told USA Today. “So the deleting of a post actually makes it worse for somebody.”
At least 62 protestors have been sent home after posting bail or agreeing to supervised release, but the arrests are still ongoing. Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said that the investigation has been “unprecedented, not only in FBI history but probably DOJ history.” Cudd’s next court date is on Thursday, and as of now, she has not yet been granted permission by a federal magistrate to take her Mexico vacation.