A Capitol Rioter Asked a Judge to Go on a Retreat in Mexico—Seriously

Jenny Cudd wants to spend a few days at a “bonding retreat” on the Riviera Maya.
February 3, 2021, 5:41pm
Jenny Cudd, front, a flower shop owner and former Midland mayoral candidate, and Eliel Rosa leave the federal courthouse in Midland, Texas, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.
Jenny Cudd, front, a flower shop owner and former Midland mayoral candidate, and Eliel Rosa leave the federal courthouse in Midland, Texas, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)

A florist accused of storming the U.S. Capitol last month has a problem. She planned and paid for a trip to Mexico before the historic riot took place, and despite being charged with two offenses, she still wants to go.

Jenny Cudd’s attorneys asked a federal court in Washington, D.C., to allow the vacation Monday, court records show. She would travel to Mexico on February 18 and return to the U.S. three days later in what her attorneys described as a “work-related bonding retreat for employees and their spouses” on the Riviera Maya. 

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Cudd, who owns a flower shop in Midland, Texas, was charged last month with entering and remaining in a restricted building, as well as violent entry or disorderly conduct, according to the Justice Department. She is currently on pretrial release. The federal magistrate’s office has not yet granted permission, according to USA Today, despite earlier reports that it had.

Cudd’s attorneys emphasized in a “motion to travel” Monday that she has no criminal history, has kept in contact with her attorney and pretrial probation, and appeared at her court date. Her pretrial services officer didn’t object to her desire to travel, according to that filing, and prosecutors took “no position on Ms. Cudd’s request.” 

During the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol that has led to dozens of arrests, Cudd was photographed inside the building while draped in a Trump flag, according to a January 12 FBI complaint. She’s accused of entering the Capitol about 15 minutes after legislators and former Vice President Mike Pence were forced to evacuate its chambers for their own safety.

In a Facebook livestream taken the day of the riot, Cudd said that people who stormed the Capitol did not vandalize anything. She then added, “We did break down ... Nancy Pelosi’s office door, and somebody stole her gavel and took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera. And that was on Fox News.” 

“I am proud of my actions,” she said in the livestream, according to court documents. “I fucking charged the Capitol today with patriots today. Hell, yes I am proud of my actions.” 

Later, in an interview with KWES-TV, an NBC affiliate in Odessa, Texas, on January 8, Cudd said that she personally did not “tear down anything, destroy anything, go in any offices, desecrate anything, or commit any acts of violence.” 

Cudd added that she was experiencing “cancel culture,” and that her business had received hundreds of one-star reviews and death threats since the insurrection. She added, though, that she would “do it again in a heartbeat.”

Correction: A previous version of this story said that Jenny Cudd has received permission to travel from the courts. She has not received permission, according to USA Today.