A Texas realtor who documented her trip to Washington D.C., amid a violent insurrection, promised to “storm the Capitol” before posing next to smashed windows outside the building, according to a criminal complaint.
Jennifer “Jenna” Leigh Ryan, 50, a Frisco, Texas, real estate broker and life coach, now faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Phone calls and messages to her were not returned.
Ryan arrived in Washington on a private plane, authorities said, to attend a Jan. 6 pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally in which the president repeated unfounded claims of election fraud.
Her documenting of the trip by private jet and the mob attack spread through the internet. On the day of the insurrection, Ryan posted a video to Facebook showing her mirror reflection with the caption: “We’re gonna go down and storm the capitol. They’re down there right now and that’s why we came and so that’s what we are going to do. So wish me luck,” prosecutors said.
In an interview with Dallas areal cable channel, Spectrum News 1, she said she “answered the call of my president” when she unlawfully entered the building. Before arriving at the Capitol, Ryan posted a now-deleted 21-minute Facebook Live video where she filmed herself and a group walking toward the building during the unrest.
“We are going to [expletive] go in here,” she says in the video as she approaches the top of the stairs near the west side of the Capitol. “Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go.”
Minutes later, Ryan made it to the desecrated door of the building as alarms sounded and shattered glass was visible. She is heard chanting: “USA, USA,” “Here we are, in the name of Jesus,” “Fight for freedom, fight for freedom!” and “This is our house!” the complaint said.
Just before walking inside, she said: “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor,” according to the complaint.
The documents feature several images of her inside the Capitol and on the grounds around the area. On Twitter, she posted a photo of herself standing beside a broken window with the caption: “Window at the capital [sic]. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next.”
She continued to post on social media in the days after the insurrection to defend herself as backlash ensued. In the Spectrum News 1 interview, she said her mission was to support Trump, whom she said inspired her actions.
She claimed she didn’t make it past the Capitol door frame.
In a statement posted online Jan. 8, she said she made the trip to Washington to attend what she believed would be a peaceful march that turned into a violent protest.
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The remarks are in contrast to an earlier tweet in which she said: “We just stormed the Capital [sic]. It was one of the best days of my life.”
In an interview with CandysDirt.com, a website “for the truly real-estate obsessed in Dallas and North Texas,” Ryan said she “didn’t care that someone was shot in the Capitol because our freedom is more important to us than our lives.” The woman shot, 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, died from her injuries.