Monday, August 15, 2022

Michigan GOP Candidate Ryan Kelly Charged for Capitol Riot Role

DETROIT ( Associated Press) — Ryan Kelly, one of five Republican candidates for governor of Michigan and a strong defender of former President Donald Trump, was charged Thursday with misdemeanor charges for his role in the post-2021 riots at the US Capitol.

FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider said Kelly, 40, was arrested in western Michigan and is awaiting a court hearing in Grand Rapids.

watch: January 6 Commission hearing – Day 1

His arrest comes hours before a House committee to investigate the uprising holds a widely anticipated public hearing, showing a series of never-before-seen videos, audios and evidence that led to the deadly violence that broke out on January 6, 2021. exposes.

There was no immediate comment from Kelly’s campaign.

It is not clear why the authorities have now decided to go against Kelly. He has long admitted that he was in rebellion, although he did not go inside the Capitol. But even after about 18 months, the government is charging more people.

In a court document, federal investigators filed photos of Kelly, in a baseball cap worn backwards, trying to rally a pro-Trump crowd.

The FBI said Kelly was recorded on video repeatedly waving to the crowd and directing them down the stairs leading to the building.

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The document states that he had used his phone to “film a mob attacking and pushing US Capitol police officers” and that he was in the crowd that marched into the Capitol entrance after police retreated. .

According to the criminal complaint, Kelly, a real estate broker living in Allendale Township, is charged with disruptive conduct, injuring public property, and entering a restricted space without permission.

He is among more than 800 people facing criminal charges in connection with the January 6 riots. More than 300 people have pleaded guilty, mainly for offenses that carry a prison sentence of more than one year. Some who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor have been sentenced to some time behind bars, while others have been sentenced to home confinement or probation.

Read more: The hearing is slated to begin on January 6. Here’s how to see them

In Michigan, Kelly is one of five candidates in the August 2 Republican primary ballot. The winner will face Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the fall.

His arrest further sparked a GOP field that initially had 10 candidates. Five of them, including two front-runners, were dropped from the ballot because fraudulent signatures submitted by paid petition circulators left them below the 15,000 required to make the ballot.

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Kelly declined to participate in a Republican debate last week because organizers of the public policy conference on Mackinac Island required proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test. He called it a “ridiculous leftist propaganda show”.

After the 2020 election, Kelly, a speaker at the “Stop the Steel” rally in Lansing, lied that Trump won the election and that Democrats were trying to steal his victory. During the early months of the pandemic, he organized a protest at the Michigan Capitol, inviting heavily armed militias to gather inside the statehouse.

He told the Associated Press that the members of the militia are “law-abiding, lawful citizens who love this country, and you might get some bad apples out of them. The question for you is, do we have Are there bad apples in everything as a group?

Burnett reported from Chicago. Associated Press reporter Mike Balsamo in Washington, DC contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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