A Dallas-area real estate agent who bragged that she would not go to prison for her participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because she was White and had blonde hair was sentenced to two months Thursday.
Jennifer Leigh Ryan of Frisco, Texas arrived in Washington on a private jet to hear then-President Trump speak at a rally as Congress was certifying President Biden’s Electoral College victory. Prosecutors sought prison time for her after she appeared to show a perceived lack of remorse for her actions as rioters stormed the Capitol and attacked law enforcement officers and damaged and stole property.
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Five people died and hundreds have been arrested in the months since.
Prosecutors also said Ryan’s belief that she would not go to jail showed a failure to grasp the seriousness of her crime. Ryan said she was sorry for her actions but U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper wasn’t moved.
“Your actions since Jan. 6 make me doubt some of those things,” the judge said. “You were a cheerleader, you cheered it on.”
He also referred to a March 26 tweet in which she wrote: “Definitely not going to jail. Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong.”
In a letter to the judge, Ryan denied believing she was immune to punishment, saying she was responding to people who made fun of her appearance and called for her to be imprisoned. She said her attorney told her at the time that prosecutors would be recommending a sentence of probation.
“I was attacked and I was answering them,” Ryan said in court.
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. Her attorney said she was only inside for a few minutes.
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“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 building. “Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go.”
Just before walking inside, she said: “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor,” according to the complaint.
Surveillance photos showed her entering the Capitol building and she tweeted images of her standing next to broken windows.
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“We just stormed the Capital. It was one of the best days of my life,” she tweeted.
She is expected to report to prison in January.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.