Jenna Ryan is a Texas real estate broker who flew on a private jet to attend the Capitol riot. She was taken into custody by federal authorities on Friday. That was just hours after charges were filed against her in D.C.
The Dallas FBI paid her a visit at her request Friday afternoon and arrested her. She turned herself in at 3 p.m., officials said. The FBI confirmed that she was released with standard pretrial release conditions but did not specify further. The FBI also said Friday afternoon that Ryan’s Carrollton home was searched.
“It was a very strange experience to be arrested by the FBI,” Ryan said. “They’re very professional and it was a very strange feeling. I have a lot of faith in God and I was just praising him and praying and I was just knowing God would take care of me in this situation.”
“I just want people to know I’m a normal person. That I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol. That I was displaying my patriotism while I was there and I was just protesting and I wasn’t trying to do anything violent and I didn’t realize there was actually violence,” Ryan told CBS11.
“I’d just like to apologize for all of the families that are affected by any of the negative environment and I’d just like to say I really love people and I am not a villain that a lot of people would make me out to be, or people think I am, because I was a Trump supporter at the Capitol,” Ryan added.
Ryan, also known as Jennifer Leigh Ryan, was hit with federal charges earlier on Friday after investigators found a trove of evidence online about her participation in the Jan. 6 riot.
According to the unsealed criminal complaint, the Frisco realtor is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
In the complaint against Ryan, FBI special agent Amie Stemen said Ryan knowingly entered a restricted building where the Vice President was present and engaged in disruptive conduct in the Capitol with the intent to disrupt the session of Congress.
Surveillance included in the complaint shows Ryan at the doorway of and inside the restricted building. As she entered the building she yelled “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and “Here we are, in the name of Jesus!”
Once inside the building, the FBI said Ryan joined the crowd chanting “Fight for freedom! Fight for freedom!” and yelling, “This is our house!” At the end of the video, Ryan turned on her rear-facing camera again, showing her face inside the building, the FBI said.
In the complaint, Ryan was tagged in a series of photographs on Jan. 5 that were posted by Brian Miller showing them flying US Trinity Aviation to Washington D.C. Captions on the photographs said, “We’re so excited! DC bound to #StoptheSteal.”
Per an FBI agent, she posted video footage of herself on board a private plane en route to the siege, explaining what she was prepared to do in Washington. She implicated herself and the subsequent videos will be used against her in court.
Ryan posted a 21-minute Facebook Live video showing her and a group walking toward the U.S. Capitol building. The FBI said she then posted photographs of herself at the Capitol building on both Facebook and Twitter.
In another video, Ryan plugged her realtor business as she and other protesters stormed the building.
“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,” she reportedly said in one of the videos.
“We are going to f–king go in here. Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go,” she said, according to the court papers.
“Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor,” she added.
In the hours after the breach, the FBI said Ryan then got back on Twitter and posted: “We just stormed the Capital. It was one of the best days of my life.”
The day after the riot, Ryan described the incident at the Capitol as a peaceful march for freedom and said that allegations that it was an assault were “fake news.” She said she and four “actual patriots” who were “not Antifa” flew to Washington D.C. because they were very upset about the “rigged election.”
“These are all American loving people who are so concerned about our freedom and the fact that the election has been stolen,” Ryan wrote.
She refused to say if she went inside the building, but said she had a video showing she and others being hit with “teargas” that she would share if she were compensated.
The FBI said there is an image she posted of herself to her Twitter account, which appears to show her in front of a broken window at the U.S. Capitol building, with the caption “Window at The capital. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next …”
Ryan told CBS 11 she would like President Trump to pardon her.
“I think we all deserve a pardon. I’m facing a prison sentence. I think I do not deserve that and from what I understand, every person is going to be arrested that was there, so I think everyone deserves a pardon, so I would ask the President of the United States to give me a pardon,” she said.
“I don’t feel a sense of shame or guilty from my heart. I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do,” Ryan said. “I do feel a little wronged in this situation because I’m a real estate agent and this has taken my company. This has taken my business. I am being slandered all over the Internet, all over the world, and all over the news and I’m just like a normal person.”
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