U.S. wants prison time for rioter who said she would 'absolutely' storm Capitol again

U.S. wants prison time for rioter who said she would 'absolutely' storm Capitol again

March 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — A Texas flower shop owner who bragged about storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and said she'd "absolutely" do it again should be sentenced to 75 days behind bars, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Justice Department attorneys argued that Jenny Cudd — a Donald Trump supporter who admitted that she called for a "revolution" before the Jan. 6 attack, said rioters "did break down" the door of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said in an interview that she would storm the Capitol again "in a heartbeat" — should serve 75 days in prison, followed by supervised release for 12 months.

Cudd, who was granted permission in February 2021 to go to Mexico for a "bonding retreat" with her employees, said in a social media video after the riot that former Vice President Mike Pence had "betrayed" the "patriots."

In an expletive-laced video she posted on social media, Cudd said the mob "pushed and pushed" and "got in," adding that she was proud that she "charged the Capitol" with people she called "patriots."

Cudd also said in a video that she was “proud of everything" she was a part of on Jan. 6 and that she'd be "proud of everything that I’m a part of at the next one." Those statements, the Justice Department argued, showed a clear lack of remorse.

"Jenny Cudd’s actions on January 6 and statements on social media clearly demonstrate the need for specific deterrence for this defendant. Cudd celebrated the property destruction and was, at a minimum, undeterred by the violence at the Capitol and on Capitol grounds," federal prosecutors wrote.

Cudd said in an interview two days after the riot that she "did not do anything to hurt anybody or to destroy any property. So yes, I would absolutely do it again.”

While Cudd said "we did break down Nancy Pelosi's door," prosecutors and Cudd's lawyer agreed there was "no evidence that Ms. Cudd entered Nancy Pelosi’s office and no evidence that Ms. Cudd stole any property from the Capitol."

In a 68-page sentencing memo, Cudd's attorney referred to her Jan. 6 Facebook Live video as a "drunken diatribe" that was influenced by the Coors Light she drank that evening.

"Jenny Cudd rambled on and on, for over 25 minutes straight, sipping a beer as she kept talking — her speech erratic, her eyes bloodshot and glassy, her skin flushed. Ms. Cudd’s appearance, mannerisms, speech, and disposition were observably affected by the alcohol. She began reciting the events of that day, using the term 'we' indiscriminately to refer to anything and everything performed by the individuals she referred to as Patriots or Trump supporters," attorney Marina Medvin wrote.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden is scheduled to sentence Cudd on March 23.

Over 775 defendants have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and hundreds more cases are in the works. More than 225 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the attack, more than 50 of whom have been sentenced to periods of incarceration.

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