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Texas woman who flew to D.C. on friend's private jet for Jan. 6 riot pleads guilty

Katherine Schwab (R) and Jennifer Leigh Ryan flew to Washington, D.C. upon a friend's private jet to participate a in pro-Trump rally and ended up storming the the Capitol building. Photo courtesy of FBI
Katherine Schwab (R) and Jennifer Leigh Ryan flew to Washington, D.C. upon a friend's private jet to participate a in pro-Trump rally and ended up storming the the Capitol building. Photo courtesy of FBI

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A Texas woman who flew upon a friend's private jet to participate in a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, has pleaded guilty to breaching the Capitol building.

According to court documents, Katherine Staveley Schwab of Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty Thursday to being a member of the mob that stormed that Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

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Schwab is the third of three co-defendants charged in a single complaint for flying together to Washington, D.C., and storming the Capitol building.

The court document states she admits to accepting an invitation from co-defendant and Facebook friend Jason Lee Hyland to fly upon his personal jet to attend the "Save America" rally scheduled for the Ellipse in the U.S. capital on Jan. 6.

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Ahead of the trip, she sent messages to Hyland stating, "we have to stop the steal," referring to debunked claims that the election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump, and "[a]s much as I want to avoid it, I also want to stand my ground and defend myself and my rights against those fascist groups."

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Schwab, Hyland and the third co-defendant, Jennifer Leigh Ryan, along with two other unnamed individuals flew Jan. 5 to a Virginia airport before checking into a D.C. hotel.

On the morning of the riot, they attended the rally at the Ellipse before returning to their hotel where at about 2:30 p.m. they received word that rioters had breached the Capitol, and decided to return to the east front of the building where court documents state Schwab told law enforcement "that she knew she wanted to enter the Capitol."

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Schwab was the first to enter the East Rotunda at about 3:21 p.m. and was soon followed by Hyland and Ryan as alarms blared through the building, prosecutors said.

The trio were only in the building for a matter of minutes, according to the court document, which added that before leaving the grounds they came across a press enclosure where members of the mob were attacking media equipment.

"Schwab joined the assault, kicking media equipment and throwing one piece of equipment on the ground while Hyland and Ryan observed," the document said.

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Back at the hotel room later Jan. 6, Schwab in a broadcast over Facebook Live said, "I stormed the Capitol."

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Hyland pleaded guilty late March and was sentenced Aug. 9 to seven days in jail, a $4,000 fine and $500 in restitution.

Ryan pleaded guilty last August and was sentenced in November to 60 days imprisonment, a $1,000 fine and $500 in restitution.

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