Real estate agent charged in Capitol riot blocked from using PayPal for donations

Minyvonne Burke
·2 min read

A Texas real estate agent who took a private jet to the riot at the U.S. Capitol is blocked from using PayPal to accept donations, the company said.

Jennifer Ryan, who goes by Jenna Ryan on social media, was charged last week after federal authorities said she breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 with other supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

The Dallas-based realtor was charged with disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.

On Thursday, Ryan tweeted a link to her PayPal account and asked for help with paying her legal fees and "losses due to my arrest and charges." She had received $1,000 before PayPal shut down the account.

"I am being surrounded by hateful people who are calling me a racist and asking for me to go to prison for 10 or 20 years and saying all sorts of horrible mean things about me. They don’t even know me. They want my business destroyed. I need help patriots," she wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

PayPal said that although it has a longstanding policy of allowing fundraising for legal defense, Ryan violated its policies by soliciting money for additional purposes.

"PayPal thoroughly reviews accounts, and if we learn that funds are used for anything other than legal defense, the account will be subject to immediate closure," a company spokesperson said in a statement Friday.

Ryan did not immediately return a phone call and email for comment on Friday.

Federal authorities said in court documents released last week that Ryan traveled with a group on a private plane to Washington D.C. earlier this month. In a since-deleted Facebook video, the real estate agent said she was "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 said, according to the court documents.

Investigators said she also livestreamed herself entering the Capitol and then tweeted about it hours later.

"We just stormed the Capital [sic]. It was one of the best days of my life," she wrote.

During an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Ryan said she went to the Capitol because she believes the election was rigged, but denied taking part in the violence.

"I was like, 'I don’t want to be in here' and so I walked out of the Capitol," she said. "And they kept going and I was like I’m not going to be a part of that, whatever that is. Then I was just there to document from that point forward because I really saw it as a protest."

Five people died during the breach, including a Capitol police officer.