GOP Governor candidate Ryan Kelley released after arrest by FBI

ALLENDALE, Mich. — Ryan Kelley, a Republican candidate for Michigan governor, was arrested by the FBI at his home in West Michigan on Thursday morning on charges related to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

After his arraignment Thursday afternoon at the US District Court in downtown Grand Rapids, Kelley was released on his own recognition, meaning he did not have to post a bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 16 at 1 pm

Kelley had a smile on his face as he was greeted by a crowd of supporters when leaving the courthouse. When asked about his arrest, or his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection, Kelley only had a couple responses for the media: “We’ll talk later” or “It’s a beautiful day in West Michigan. God is good.”


Ryan Kelley Released on PR Bond

Thursday morning, FBI conducted a search warrant at the home, an FBI spokesperson confirmed.

He was arrested on the following charges:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
  • Knowingly engage in any act of physical violence against person or property in any restricted building or grounds
  • Willfully insult or commit any depredation against any property of the United States.

Each of those charges comes with a maximum prison sentence of up to one year, but they can be served concurrently.

Michigan GOP Chairman Ron Wieser sent out this statement today in response to Kelley’s arrest:

Michael McDaniel, a Professor of Constitutional Law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, said the FBI and Department of Justice are doing the right thing, and should move forward with arresting and charging people — like Kelley — for the insurrection.

“This was an attack on our temple of democracy,” he told FOX 17 Thursday afternoon. “The US Capitol is where our elected representatives, both the senate and the house, are reside — those individuals that we have entrusted to act on our behalf in Washington do their business. They were doing so. They were engaged in certifying the electoral college process at the very moment of this attack, which goes to the other part, which is that this was not just an attack on the building, it was an attack on the democratic process that we all cherish and hold dear. So yes, even if it was misdemeanor charges, I think that those individuals who were involved have to be held responsible.”

Javed Ali, former Senior Director for Counterterrorism, National Security Council and Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, adding:

“The arrest of Ryan Kelley should not be viewed through a partisan lens but an objective, evidence-based assessment of the alleged crimes he committed on January 6, 2021. The FBI and DOJ must have heavily weighed the timing of his arrest today on the eve of the Committee hearing later this evening, and felt comfortable enough to proceed with the law enforcement actions despite those who will view them as politically-motivated.”

Video captured by a neighbor shows the FBI raiding Kelley’s home in Allendale.

WATCH: Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley arrested by FBI

Ben Miller, who lives on the corner of Wild Duck Ln, where Kelley lives, told FOX 17, “It’s definitely not something you expect to come up to any morning. Regardless of who it is, I don’t think it’s expected.”

Kelley attended the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol, and last year he told MLive he was there but did not go through barricades and left when things started getting crazy.

Official documents state the FBI started receiving tips that Kelley was at the US Capitol on January 16, 2021.

“At approximately 1:30 pm on January 6, 2021, a video of the event that was posted online displays an individual wearing the aviator sunglasses and backward black baseball cap at about the 7 minute, 9-second mark. This indicates that KELLEY gathered near the entrance to the North Western scaffolding on the Western side of the US Capitol. The individual with the sunglasses and baseball cap is pictured below,” documents state.

The FBI used photos and videos from the Jan. 6 insurrection to track Kelley’s actions that day. The FBI says Kelley used his phone to film the crowd assaulting and pushing past US Capitol police officers.

“After causing the US Capitol Police officers to retreat, the crowd climbed the stairs towards the entrance to the interior of the US Capitol. At approximately 1:51 pm, KELLEY moved towards the side of the nearby stairs and began to climb onto an architectural feature next to those stairs. In this publicly available news media image, KELLEY can be seen through the scaffolding on the stairs. Other members of the crowd are also identifiable,” the documents read.

According to the documents, Kelley is then spotted climbing onto an architectural feature next to the North West stairs and indicating to the crowd behind him that he should move forward.

Kelley can also be seen “using his hands to support another rioter who is pulling the metal barricade onto the scaffolding.

Kelley recently skipped a Republican debate at the Mackinac Policy Conference over vaccine and testing requirements.

Kelley is a real estate broker who gained prominence in Republican circles during the COVID-19 pandemic for organizing a protest at the Michigan Capitol over the lockdowns.

Kelley is one of five Republicans left in the field after five other candidates were left off the August primary ballot due to invalid signatures.

He was released before 3 pm Thursday.

Read the official complaint against Kelley below:
Kelley Ryan – Complaint by WXMI on Scribd

Read the official Statement of Fact below:
Kelley Ryan – Complaint by WXMI on Scribd

*WXYZ contributed to this report.


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