US candidate for governor arrested in Capitol riot probe
Washington, United States — The FBI arrested the leading Republican candidate for governor in Michigan Thursday on charges of participating in the January 6, 2021 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of then-president Donald Trump.
The Justice Department said Ryan Kelley took part in the violent attack on the Capitol that aimed to halt the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the presidential election two months earlier.
Kelley, a planning commission member in Allendale, Michigan and founder of the far-right American Patriot Council, was charged with illegally entering the Capitol and engaging in physical violence against property.
An affidavit filed in Washington federal court detailed his participation in the January 6 unrest, using video, photographs and other information posted on social media, as well as phone records, to identify him.
Some showed him urging the crowd to enter the Capitol.
A video from the day posted online by the Michigan Tea news site allegedly depicts Kelley yelling, “Come on, let’s go! This is it! This is, this is war baby!”
Kelley was arrested at his Allendale home early Thursday, according to the FBI.
A poll in May showed him leading a crowded field of candidates hoping to win the Republican nomination for Michigan governor.
Raising his profile in the state, he and the American Patriot Council have led protests against Covid-19 containment policies including masking and vaccination over the past two years.
It was not immediately known how the arrest would affect his gubernatorial campaign.
His Facebook page posted a two-word statement saying: “Political Prisoner.”
Kelley is one of more than 840 people who have been arrested for taking part in the attack on the seat of the US Congress that day.
Most, including Kelley, have been charged with misdemeanor counts of illegally entering the Capitol and obstructing an official meeting of Congress.
But around 255 face criminal charges of assault, theft and conspiracy.
On Monday, five members of the far-right Proud Boys group, which had an organizing role in the January 6 events, were charged with seditious conspiracy, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
READ: US Capitol assault hearings promise bombshell revelations
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