Jenna Ryan, the Texas real estate agent who livestreamed the insurrection in January, pleaded guilty this week to an illegal demonstration charge.

After storming the U.S. Capitol building, leveraging images from the insurrection to plug her real estate business, asking Donald Trump for a pardon in the waning days of his presidency, and tweeting defiantly that she was “definitely not going to jail,” Jenna Ryan has pleaded guilty. 

The Texas real estate agent pleaded guilty Thursday to demonstrating inside the Capitol building, a misdemeanor crime that comes with a $500 fine and a chance of landing up to six months in prison. 

Ryan agreed to the plea in a deal with prosecutors, according to a report by CNN. The deal resembles those struck so far with “low-level defendants” who weren’t caught being violent or destructive that day in the halls of Congress, the news organization reports. She had previously pleaded not guilty on three other charges.

Ryan was initially charged in January with knowingly entering a restricted area without permission, and impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of government business. 

Ryan’s case has drawn national attention in part for her attempt to use her participation in the day’s destructive protest to market her real estate business. 

“Y’all know who to hire for your Realtor,” she said on Jan. 6 while filming the chaotic mob from the Capitol steps. “Jenna Ryan: your Realtor.” 

The agent’s defiant stance continued in the days and months that followed. In a conversation with local Dallas news in mid-January, Ryan told the crew she hoped Trump would use his final days in office to pardon her, along with other members of the mob. 

Demonstrators who rushed the Capitol steps that day have been accused of breaking windows and doors, attacking police officers and other crimes as some of them searched for members of Congress who had been rushed into hiding after they had gathered to begin formalizing the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

Ryan’s case was one of at least two this year known to involve real estate agents. It prompted a discussion within the National Association of Realtors as to whether activities at the Capitol violated the trade group’s policies. 

The group in January declined to rule out penalties for the Realtors involved in the attack. In response to questions from its members, the organization clarified that participating in the Capitol riot did not necessarily violate one of its newest policies against hate speech toward a targeted class.

The month after the insurrection, Ryan said she regretted buying into Trump’s version of events in an interview with The Washington Post.

“I bought into a lie, and the lie is the lie, and it’s embarrassing,” she said to the newspaper. “I regret everything.”

Prosecutors have sought contrition from other members of the insurrection, arguing it could persuade a judge to seek a shorter prison sentence, according to CNN’s reporting.

But Ryan’s public statements have been mixed. In some tweets, she has highlighted her statements of regret. In others, she’s posted defiant defenses of her behavior and continued to cast doubt on the outcome of the election.

Her sentencing hearing is slated for November, when she’ll learn whether her participation in the day’s events will result in actual prison time. 

Email Daniel Houston

NAR | realtors
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