By Robert Snell, Craig Mauger, Beth LeBlanc | The Detroit News
Allendale — FBI agents arrested Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley on misdemeanor charges related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Ryan Kelley (The Detroit News)
The arrest and search that unfolded at Kelley’s home in Allendale outside of Grand Rapids add more uncertainty to a chaotic race for governor that has seen five Republican candidates blocked from the ballot for submitting fraudulent nominating petition signatures.
Prosecutors filed four charges against Kelley, 40. They are knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building; disorderly and disruptive conduct; knowingly engaging in any act of physical violence against person or property in a restricted building or grounds; willfully injuring or committing depredation against property of the U.S.
Kenzi Niewiadomski, one of Kelley’s neighbors in his Allendale subdivision whose sister lives across the street from him, said she witnessed FBI agents leading Kelley away from his home in handcuffs Thursday morning. Kelley’s wife and children left the home with backpacks in hand and got into a family van moments after Kelley was taken into custody, Niewiadomski said.
“He was just cooperating,” she said. “What are you going to do at that point?”
Niewiadomski said she can’t personally stand Kelley as a politician. He has a campaign flag flying below an American flag on the flagpole in his front yard.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment,” Niewiadomski said.
A spokeswoman for Kelley’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.
The arrest comes 17 months after Kelley traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 6, 2021, protests that preceded an attack on the U.S. Capitol and on the morning of the first hearing by the U.S. House committee investigating the riot.
Federal court records describe Kelley as being an active participant in the riot, climbing onto portions of the Capitol, encouraging yelling, gesturing to participants and removing a covering from a temporary structure outside the Capitol.
The records also portray Kelley as being under investigation within days of the riot and reveal that FBI agents relied on assistance from an informant who was helping the bureau investigate domestic terrorism.
In one clip, Kelley is shown using his hands to support another rioter who is pulling a metal barricade, according to the complaint.
“At approximately 2:20 p.m., Kelley continued to gesture to the crowd, consistently indicating that they should move towards the stairs that led to the entrance of the U.S. Capitol interior …read more
Source:: The Mercury News