Jenna Ryan, the 50-year-old Texas real estate agent, radio host, and aspiring self-help expert who chartered a private plane to D.C. in order to partake in the attempted coup, has been charged by federal officials for her role in storming the U.S. Capitol and will soon be arrested.
According to the criminal complaint filed against her, Ryan has been charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority” and “disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds,” with the “intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress.”
Much like how one documents a boozy bachelorette party, Ryan posted the details of her insurrectionary vacation all over her social media accounts, declaring in one helpful video, “We’re gonna go down and storm the Capitol. They’re down there right now and that’s why we came.” In another, Ryan declared, “This is a prelude going to war.”
According to the complaint, Ryan apparently also saw her participation in the attempted coup as an opportunity to spread the word about her real estate business, which was perhaps a miscalculation by the supposed social media marketing expert. On a day when five people died and subsequent reporting has detailed just how horrifyingly close some of the insurrectionists came to carrying out the violence they had intended, Ryan decided to engage in some self-promotion. As she entered the Capitol, she turned her phone camera to her face and exclaimed, in an extremely helpful move for federal investigators, “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor.” “This is our house,” she later yells once inside.
While Ryan released a statement condemning the violence at the Capitol, writing that she was “truly heartbroken for the people who have lost their lives,” an interview she gave shortly after leaving D.C. paints a slightly different picture.
“Then they were like, ‘Someone got shot in there,’ and we were like, we don’t care because our freedom is more important to us than our lives because the whole premise is give us liberty or give us death,” she told the website CandysDirt.com, sharing that she had also just popped a Xanax. Ryan added, “We are frontline patriots who are fighting for liberty.” Ryan also wanted the website’s readers to know that she is a “really good agent with lots of integrity” and is so good at her job that she makes “a ton of money and sells a ton of homes.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, Ryan has political aspirations, telling one outlet before she was charged that she would like to run for office as a member of the “Patriot Party.” Ryan, who once wrote a blog post on “how to be a social media supertar” (as well as launched a contest to find 2010's “hottest bachelors of real estate”), likely thought that livestreaming and posting her way through the storming of the U.S. Capitol would raise her public profile and launch her career into politics. It’s certainly accomplished the former.