CLAIM: A judge gave a woman who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol permission to go to Mexico on a vacation before her trial.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Jenny Cudd, who has been charged for participating in the Capitol insurrection, has asked a judge to grant her travel request. The judge has not yet ruled.
THE FACTS: Jenny Cudd is facing two federal misdemeanor charges after she posted a video bragging that she was part of a group that broke down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s door on Jan. 6. She is accused of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.
Cudd, who owns a flower shop and is a former mayoral candidate in Midland, Texas, told The Associated Press that she didn’t personally go into Pelosi’s office and didn’t do anything violent or destroy any property.
A court document that stated the terms of Cudd’s release included the conditions that she must “stay away from Washington DC” with the exception of court business and attorney meetings, and “travel outside continental U.S. must be approved by the court.”
Cudd’s lawyers asked the court on Monday to allow her to travel to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for four days later this month. “Prior to the alleged offense at issue, Ms. Cudd planned and prepaid for a weekend retreat with her employees,” reads the motion. “This is a work-related bonding retreat for employees and their spouses.”
As part of that motion, Cudd’s lawyers included a proposed order for the judge to adopt, which is a common practice in litigation. As of Wednesday, federal prosecutors had not responded to the motion and the judge had not yet ruled on it.
But some media outlets apparently confused the proposed order for an actual order from the judge granting Cudd permission to travel to Mexico. Several outlets have since corrected articles that erroneously reported Cudd had received authorization to travel. But posts on social media spread the confusion further.
“Court Gives ‘Proud’ Capitol Rioter Permission To Go On Mexico Vacation Before Trial,” reads the opening of a video that has more than 91,000 views on Instagram. The video also includes a clip of Cudd describing the events of Jan. 6. “We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door and someone stole her gavel,” she says.
Another popular post on Instagram mistakenly said Cudd was “permitted to travel for ‘work.’”
Cudd’s proposed trip was to start Feb. 18, but she will not have permission to go unless the judge allows it.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536