A Republican running for governor of Michigan has been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Ryan Kelley, 40, was arrested Thursday morning on misdemeanor charges stemming from the Jan. 6 breach, the DOJ announced. According to FBI investigators, Kelley participated in an effort to overwhelm police, as well as encouraging his fellow Donald Trump supporters to descend on the building as Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Kelley is considered to be one of Michigan’s leading GOP candidates for governor, especially after five Republicans were booted from the ballot last month after it was discovered that their nominating petitions included thousands of forged signatures.
According to the FBI, tipsters were flagging Kelley’s alleged participation in the riot shortly after the siege itself, including a Twitter account @MichiganTea.
Meet Ryan D. Kelley, the confederate statue loving planning commission member of Allendale Michigan. He is captured on video with Jason Howland helping to push past police at the Capitol. Kelley is the co-founder of American Patriot Council. More info on Kelley below. pic.twitter.com/4YloFqm1Yy
— Michigan Tea (@MichiganTea) January 19, 2021
One tipster sent in pictures of a person they believed was Kelley.
“The information provided by the tipster showed Kelley at the U.S. Capitol wearing a black coat, a backwards black baseball cap with a rectangular U.S. flag emblem above the bill, and aviator sunglasses,” said the FBI’s Statement of Facts in support of the arrest warrant.
Another person, stepping forward as “Kate,” described seeing Kelley “in numbers pictures and videos from the Jan. 6, 2021 event at the U.S. Capitol.”
The FBI details what it says were Kelley’s movements on Capitol grounds that day.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. on January 6, 2021, a video of the event that was posted online displays an individual wearing the aviator sunglasses and backwards black baseball cap at about the 7 minute, 9 second mark. This indicates that KELLEY gathered near the entrance to the North Western scaffolding on the Western side of the U.S. Capitol.
After allegedly filming a crowd “assaulting and pushing past U.S. Capitol Police Officers,” images show Kelley joining the group, according to the FBI.
But Kelley, unlike some 255 others charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, is not charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
“The media is a video which shows Kelley, wearing a black hat and a black coat, is in a crowd of people who are assaulting and pushing past law enforcement officers,” the FBI’s statement of facts says.
That effort, according to the FBI, was successful, and Kelley allegedly was part of the crowd that approached the Capitol building after breaking through the police line.
After causing the U.S. Capitol Police officers to retreat, the crowd climbed the stairs towards the entrance to the interior of the U.S. Capitol. At approximately 1:51 p.m., Kelley moved towards the side of the nearby stairs and began to climb onto an architectural feature next to those stairs. In this publicly available news media image, Kelley can be seen through the scaffolding on the stairs. Other members of the crowd are also identifiable. The area of the U.S. Capitol shown in this image is marked with a red circle on the map below.
Kelley was arrested Thursday at his home in Allendale. According to local news website Bridge Michigan, video of the arrest appeared to show FBI agents leading “a man who resembled Kelley” into a gray SUV shortly before 9:30 a.m.
He has been charged with four misdemeanors: entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence against person or property, and willfully injuring or committing any depredation against any property of the U.S.
Kelley’s presence at the Capitol that day is not a secret: in February of 2021, local NBC affiliate WOOD TV reported that Kelley, then a member of the Allendale Township Planning Commission, had been spotted at the riots.
Kelley is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
Read the Statement of Facts, below.
[Image via YouTube screengrab.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]