A federal court is facing strong criticism after a judge agreed to allow a suspect in the January 6 Capitol riot to take a pre-planned four-day vacation in Mexico with employees of her flower shop.
Jenny Cudd of Midland, Texas asked the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. for permission to leave the country and travel to Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The trip was described as a “work-related bonding retreat.”
Cudd has no previous convictions and has denied any wrongdoing but she has been charged with two misdemeanor offenses relating to the Capitol riot: entering a federal building without permission and disorderly conduct.
“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,” Cudd’s attorney Farheena Siddiqui told the court.
There was significant criticism of the decision on social media following a USA Today report that the request was granted.
“One Texas woman is granted permission to vacation in Mexico after engaging in insurrection at the Capitol,” wrote former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. “Another was deported to Mexico after being a cooperative FBI witness to the massacre in El Paso. There are two systems of justice in America.”
Castro was referring to an undocumented migrant who was deported last week due to unpaid traffic tickets. She witnessed the 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
One Texas woman is granted permission to vacation in Mexico after engaging in insurrection at the Capitol.
Another was deported to Mexico after being a cooperative FBI witness to the massacre in El Paso.
There are two systems of justice in America. https://t.co/gODV10ZxAS
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 3, 2021
“We live in a nation where some justify George Floyd‘s murder by a police officer’s vicious knee, but Jenny Cudd, who was a part of an insurrection at the nation’s Capitol, was permitted to go on vacation,” tweeted Berenice King, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Shannon Watts, founder of anti-gun violence group Moms Demand Action, was also critical of the decision to allow Cudd to go on vacation.
“A woman arrested for breaching the Capitol during the riots and who said, ‘I would do it again in a heartbeat because I did not break any laws,’ is being allowed by a judge to take a break from insurrection to go on a Mexican vacation,” Watts said.
Cudd told Texas ABC affiliate NewsWest9 on January 8 that she had done nothing wrong during the riot, saying: “I went inside the Capitol completely legally and I did not do anything to hurt anybody or destroy any property.
“So what they’re trying to do is cancel me because I stood up for what I believe in and I can tell you this it’s – and it’s what I’ve told everybody – I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Cudd said.
There had been criticism even before the decision was handed down. Eliza Orlins, a candidate for Manhattan district attorney and a New York public defender, also suggested there were “two systems of justice.”
“As a public defender, I represented a 16yo for whom I had to beg a judge for release (with escorts, in handcuffs) to go to his dad’s funeral,” Orlins tweeted. “Meanwhile, someone accused of participating in the insurrection may get to go on a bonding retreat in Mexico.”
Orlins later commented on the court’s decision, saying: “My teenage client remained rear-cuffed at his dad’s funeral. I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m not going to stop: Two. Systems. Of. Justice.”
Many other Twitter users weighed in on the decision with critical comments both for the court and Cudd. The U.S. magistrate who gave permission for the vacation has not been named in media reports.