Texas Realtor who stormed Capitol responds to backlash
A week after the insurrection at the Capitol, Frisco, Texas-based Realtor Jenna Ryan released a statement condemning the violence, even after multiple videos and photos surfaced – including ones that she filmed herself – of Ryan participating in the insurrection.
What started as a protest devolved into a riot and siege of the Capitol building, resulting in five deaths – including that of a police officer – and significant damage to the building itself.
Ryan, owner of Jenna Ryan Realty and a conservative talk show host, said she flew to Washington D.C. on a private plane to support what she later said she believed to be a peaceful march in protest of the certification of electoral votes that named Joe Biden president.
“I was just there to let my voice be heard and document the events,” Ryan said in an interview with HousingWire on Tuesday. “I was not part of the violence.”
Social media users and news outlets captured Ryan, wearing a red-and-blue stocking cap with “TRUMP” emblazoned on it, as part of a mob rushing the doors of the Capitol, as well as a photo of her posing by a broken window.
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“Window at the Capital. And if the news doesn’t stop lying about us we’re going to come after their studios next,” read her now since-deleted tweet.
She also posted a livestream video on the private jet she flew in to Washington D.C. where she said “they want to steal the election, they want to steal everything.”
Her interview with HousingWire and statement on Facebook, however, took different tones.
“I do not condone the violence that occurred on January 6, 2020 and I am truly heartbroken for the people who have lost their lives,” she wrote. “Hatred and violence toward each other are not going to solve our country’s issues. As a nation, we need to come together – Republican, Democrat and Independent – and have an open and honest discussion about the issues in our country and resolve our issues in peace.”
She told HousingWire she “is a patriot who loves America and is very concerned.” She also acknowledged that she is getting support from other Republicans and she expects her company to grow when “everything dies down.”
“People can see through the lies of the media trying to demonize Trump supporters,” she said. “Americans are concerned about America and election fraud. The media is gaslighting America.”
As law enforcement officials crack down on the rioters who were captured on video and in photos participating in the melee at the Capitol, industry trade groups and companies are also condemning those who participated, though licenses have not been pulled or realtor association memberships revoked.
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and National Association of Realtors (NAR) condemned the violence, but haven’t taken action against Ryan or others.
In an email to HousingWire, TREC spokesperson Christine Anderson said the Commission posted an FAQ on licensed agents convicted of crimes, as well as a general statement on the Capitol riots.
Ryan has not formally been charged with a crime as of Wednesday.
“This section gives the Commission authority to suspend or revoke a license holder that has entered a plea of guilty, or no contest, or has been convicted of a felony or any criminal offense that involves fraud, including misdemeanors,” the site read. “The Commission does not have the authority to revoke or suspend a license holder that has been only charged or accused of committing a felony or criminal offense that involves fraud.”
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TREC officials added that, generally, its authority is limited to conduct the license holder undertakes while engaged in real estate brokerage.
According to a search on TREC’s portal, Ryan’s license remains active and she sponsors one agent named Stacy Bennett.
NAR President Charlie Oppler also issued a statement condemning the events and saying that NAR supports peaceful protests and the peaceful transfer of power. But the trade organization would not comment specifically on Ryan.
In an email to HousingWire, NAR spokesperson Wesley Shaw said the Association is encouraging anyone with information regarding unlawful behavior to report those violations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“We stand with federal law enforcement as they work to thoroughly investigate this week’s events and ensure all those accused of breaking the law are prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Shaw said in an official statement.
Ryan has not shied away from the media spotlight since going viral for her actions on Jan. 6, sitting for an interview with Spectrum News and regularly posting on Twitter and Facebook accounts. Several of them were disabled or made private on Wednesday.
“The Patriot Party”
Ryan claims that her real estate company is “very successful,” telling Candysdirt.com in an interview that she only works 15 hours a week and still sells plenty of homes. She does not appear concerned about the prospect of being arrested, or her business suffering.
She also told Spectrum News that she’s interested in running for office under a new party she said she is going to help create – the “Patriot Party.”
“We are going to create a new party, and we are not down with RINOS or Republicans,” she said. “I will never again vote for another Republican. I will vote for the Patriot party from now on, and I will campaign, and I will run for office.”
She continued, saying “if anyone out there knows how to set me up in this way, let me know, because I’m ready to serve my country and bind against people that are trying to ruin this country.”
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The video has more than 4,000 views.
Ryan told HousingWire that she feels supported by “75 million people who have my back” – a reference to the number of people who voted for President Donald Trump in the November election.
“Many people can see the truth because they know me, they know my reputation, and they know that I truly care for the USA,” she said.
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