State Watch

FBI arrests GOP candidate for Michigan governor in connection with Jan. 6

The FBI arrested Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley on Thursday in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and searched his Allendale home.

Kelley was allegedly seen outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 and faces four misdemeanor charges stemming from the riot. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. confirmed his arrest and said Kelley is set to appear in court later on Thursday.

In supporting documents released by the attorney’s office, the FBI said it had received multiple tips of Kelley’s presence at the Capitol in the days following the riot.

The FBI found no evidence that Kelley had entered the Capitol building but alleged he was among the crowd on Capitol grounds for roughly two hours. 

The Hill has reached out to Kelley’s campaign for comment.

The FBI alleged Kelley was part of the crowd that was attacking and pushing past Capitol Police officers as Congress was in the process of certifying the 2020 election results. At times, he allegedly filmed crowds attacking the officers.

The agency’s investigators also said Kelley consistently waved his hand to instruct the crowd to move closer to the building, climbing scaffolding set up for President Biden’s inauguration. At one point, Kelley allegedly pulled a covering off a temporary structure, according to the documents.

He is charged with knowingly entering a restricted area without lawful authority, disorderly conduct, knowingly engaging in physical violence in a restricted area and willfully injuring or committing depredation against federal government property. 

Kelley also spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally at the Michigan state capitol in November 2020, telling attendees to “stand and fight” for then-President Trump, according to the documents.

Kelley is slated to face off against four other candidates in the Republican primary on Aug. 2, with the winner taking on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in November.

A group of five other Republican candidates were dropped from the primary ballot after the Board of State Canvassers denied their petitions, saying they found thousands of fraudulent signatures.

At least one candidate has filed a lawsuit to be reinstated on the ballot, but a state appeals court judge rejected that request earlier this month.

Updated 12:10 p.m.

Tags Biden Gretchen Whitmer Jan. 6 Capitol riot January 6 Capitol attack Michigan governor primary Michigan primary Ryan Kelley Trump
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