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Texas woman charged in Capitol riot can visit Mexico, judge rules

Jenny Cudd had asked for permission to attend a "work-related bonding retreat" in Riviera Maya.
Jenny Cudd, a flower shop owner and former Midland mayoral candidate, and Eliel Rosa leave the federal courthouse in Midland, Texas, on Jan. 13, 2021. The FBI arrested Cudd and Rosa on Wednesday in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.Jacob Ford / Odessa American via AP

A Texas business owner charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will be allowed to visit Mexico for a "bonding retreat" with employees, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Jenny Cudd, of Midland, was charged last month and is free on personal recognizance. She was seen inside the Capitol after a pro-Trump mob stormed it, and in a video on Facebook that day said, "I f---ing charged the Capitol today" and "Hell yes, I am proud of my actions," according to a criminal complaint.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden granted a request that will allow Cudd to travel to a pre-planned, pre-paid retreat with employees in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

The judge wrote that neither prosecutors nor a pretrial services officer opposed the request. Cudd "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," McFadden wrote.

Cudd was cleared to travel to Mexico on Feb. 18 and to return to the U.S. on Feb. 21, according to the judge's order. She will have to provide authorities with her itinerary.

Cudd was charged in January with violent entry or disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building, both misdemeanors. Court documents filed Wednesday appear to show she was indicted by a grand jury on five federal counts.

A request for comment from Cudd's attorney was not immediately returned Friday night.

In the Facebook video posted the day of the riot, Cudd said "we did break down the Nancy Pelosi's office door," according to an FBI statement of facts in the case. She also said she "charged the Capitol today with patriots" and she was proud, the court document says.

Cudd in a Jan. 8 interview with NBC affiliate KWES of Midland attempted to clarify the comments she made in the Facebook video. "I personally did not tear down anything, destroy anything, go into any offices," she said. She said she frequently uses the word "we" generally and that she only went into the Rotunda.

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The Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol occurred as Congress was to formally count the electoral vote affirming Joe Biden's election as president. The riot led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol police officer.

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives — for an unprecedented second time — on Jan. 13 while he was still president.

The article of impeachment charges him with "incitement of insurrection," in part over Trump's repeated and false claims that his loss was because of voter fraud, and his comments made to a rally before the riot.

Trump's trial in the Senate is scheduled to start Tuesday.