Ryan Kelley: Michigan Republican candidate arrested over reported role in January 6 attack

Mr Kelley is accused of engaging in disruptive conduct, damaging public property and trespassing at the US Capitol

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Ryan Kelley, one of five Republican candidates for Michigan governor, was charged with misdemeanours on Thursday for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Mr Kelley was arrested in western Michigan and awaits a court hearing in Grand Rapids later on Thursday, FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider said.

There was no immediate comment from Mr Kelley’s campaign.

His arrest comes on the same day that the Democrat-led House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol last year will hold its first of several planned hearings to present the evidence it has amassed about the riot and the events leading up to it.

Mr Kelley is accused of engaging in disruptive conduct, damaging public property and entering a restricted space without permission, the criminal complaint states.

A sworn statement by an FBI agent said that Mr Kelley was captured on video standing in a crowd of people who were “assaulting and pushing past law enforcement officers” at the Capitol.

Other images show Mr Kelley climbing on an architectural feature near the north-west stairs of the building, the statement said

Mr Kelley is one of five candidates on the August 2 Republican primary ballot for governor. The winner will face off against Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in November.

The Republican candidate declined to participate in a debate last week because organisers of a public policy conference on Mackinac Island required proof of a Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test.

During the early months of the pandemic, Mr Kelley organised a protest at the Michigan Capitol, inviting heavily armed militias to gather inside the statehouse.

He has told The Associated Press that militia members are “law abiding, lawful citizens that love this country, and maybe you get a couple of them that are bad apples”.

News agencies contributed reporting

Updated: June 10, 2022, 6:02 AM
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