Federal prosecutors say an infamous Capitol attack defendant who traveled to Washington on a private plane and called Jan. 6 “one of the best days of my life” should spend time in prison, in part because she didn’t think she would.
Jenna Ryan was arrested in January after she openly bragged about her exploits at the Capitol on social media, livestreaming on Facebook from inside the building and tweeting a photo of herself standing at a broken window, captioning it “if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next…”
Ahead of Ryan’s sentencing this week, federal prosecutors said she should spend 60 days in prison because she knew the day could turn violent and said she was “going to war,” promoted violence at the Capitol, chanted “hang Mike Pence,” promoted violence against the news media, claimed she deserved “a medal” for what she did, spread false information about the riot, lied about her participation in the riot, and “sought to exploit her presence during the attack on the Capitol for profit.”
Prosecutors said Ryan had, for the past 10 years, “promoted her personal brand, touting her success as a real estate broker, self-help coach, and media personality” and then “drew on her considerable experience as a social media influencer to promote violence before her arrival at the Capitol.”
The Justice Department’s sentencing memo says that Ryan was “publicly cheerleading” a violent attack that “forced an interruption of the certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatened the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 Presidential election, injured more than one hundred law enforcement officers, and resulted in more than a million dollars’ worth of property damage.”
Moreover, the government said, Ryan’s tweet stating she had “blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail” showed she thought she was immune from punishment for her crimes because of her race and physical appearance.
“A defendant who believes she is immune from strict punishment because of her race and physical appearance may reoffend because the consequences for wrongdoing will never, in the defendant’s mind, be severe even when severity is merited,” prosecutors write. “Perhaps the most compelling need for specific deterrence arises from the defendant’s misguided belief that she is above the law, or at least insulated from incarceration.”
The feds wrote that Ryan “found it appropriate to promote her real estate business” as she stormed the Capitol, announcing, “You guys, will you believe this? I am not messing around. When I come to sell your house, this is what I will do. I will fucking sell your house.”
Prosecutors also wrote that Ryan posted a photo of members of the mob attacking media equipment, calling it “a cool moment” and saying rioters “just went to town on the AP equipment.” They said one of Ryan’s co-defendants, Katherine Schwab, “joined the crowd’s assault” by “kicking media equipment and throwing one piece of equipment on the ground.”
Ryan pleaded guilty in August, admitting in her statement of offense that she posted “Today was a great example of what America is about” on Twitter after the attack, that she was seen on video chanting “Fight for Trump!” in the Rotunda, and that she “paraded, demonstrated, or picketed” inside the Capitol when she knew that she “did not have permission to enter the building.”
Ryan will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Thursday by U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper.
The FBI has made about 650 arrests in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, representing roughly one-quarter of the total number of people who committed chargeable criminal activity that day. So far, more than 100 people have pleaded guilty in connection with the Capitol attack, and fewer than two dozen have been sentenced, according to BuzzFeed News.