One man accused of taking part in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was arrested at his Allendale home Thursday morning.
That man was Ryan Kelley, one of the five Republicans trying to unseat Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
His attendance at the Capitol was a fact he has not hidden from. In fact, he admitted it at the debate hosted by 9&10 News late last month.
“I was in Washington DC on January 6th as well,” Kelley said on the debate stage, “Standing up against the stolen election, saying we wanted to get our voices heard.”
It’s been a point of pride for the campaign, showing action behind his words.
“All of us can make beautiful websites that have what we are going to do but the question is what have you done? Where have you been?” said Kelley after the debate, “Because your actions let us know whether or not you’re going to have those same values moving forward.”
According to the U.S. District Attorneys, it was illegal. Following an , Kelley now faces four charges.
“Three of them are from entering a restricted building or space, which is a one-year misdemeanor,” said Michael McDaniel, constitutional law professor at the WMU Cooley Law School, “And one is for destruction of property, which is also a one-year misdemeanor.”
Kelley always said he never entered the Capitol but there are still restricted areas outside the building and he’s not facing any violent charges and avoided felonies.
“Anybody who’s watched the footage knows that it’s it’s sort of a melee,” said McDaniel, “It’s an ongoing riotous behavior where it’s hard to tell who is who.”
Videos and photos pieced together show a man matching Kelley’s appearance all over that day.
The Michigan GOP is questioning the timing and motive. Party chair Ron Weiser said in a statement, “Democrats are weaponizing our justice system in an unprecedented way against their political opponents. We are not a third world nation. Law and order are the bedrock of our democracy, but justice is not served when it is driven by a political agenda. Families and children are now becoming victims of political theater meant to distract from the failures of Democrat policy. It’s shameful and must end.”
McDaniel said the charges shouldn’t shock anyone.
“I don’t see any attempt here to focus on Ryan Kelley,” said McDaniel, “Because the charges are the same misdemeanor charges we saw against hundreds of others.”
Kelley was charged in federal court in Grand Rapids and released on bail Thursday.