Last Updated on June 9, 2022
On Thursday morning, the FBI arrested Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley in his hometown of Allendale for several misdemeanors related to the January 6th Protests of last year.
#RyanKelley, a @GOP candidate for #Michigan governor, was arrested during a raid on his #WestMichigan home on Thursday, the @FBI says. https://t.co/k7V64HkCG3 pic.twitter.com/TURcsTmRUB
— KATV News (@KATVNews) June 9, 2022
Kelley, a prominent conservative activist who first gained notoriety in 2020 for his opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian COVID-19 response and the removal of historic monuments in Michigan, is one of five remaining GOP candidates for governor. He has been the front-runner in the race in the most recent polling.
The four charges against Mr. Kelley are trespassing, disorderly conduct, destruction of property, and violence against police officers. While videos do show him marching toward the Capitol, there is little known evidence for nearly all of these charges. Additionally, Kelley has also stated that “once things started getting crazy, I left,” with regards to the events of that day.
Notably, the FBI took this action just hours after Joe Biden “joked” about arresting his political opposition on the late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Ryan Kelley is running on an America First platform. His website touts his strong conservative stances on election integrity, critical race theory, vaccine mandates, abortion, and the Second Amendment. His platform stands in stark contrast to Gretchen Whitmer, the current governor, whose polarizing policies regarding the pandemic have left her vulnerable in the upcoming election.
The arrest also comes the same day as the January 6th Committee is set to present their findings to the public. The highly partisan nature of the committee remains a source of concern, as many fear Democrats will use it as a way to go after even more of their political opponents.
Luckily, many Conservatives seem to have rallied to Kelley’s defense. Another primary candidate, Kevin Rinke, put out a statement defending Kelley and questioning whether or not the FBI was acting appropriately.
I respect Ryan Kelley and have met him out on the trail. My hope is that the FBI is acting appropriately, because the timing here raises serious questions. Praying for him and his family. https://t.co/h8vER5T2R1
— Kevin Rinke (@KevinRinke) June 9, 2022
Ryan Kelley is set to first appear in court later Thursday. We will continue to provide updates as the story develops.