Michigan GOP candidate for governor Ryan Kelley arrested by FBI on Jan. 6 charges


Republican candidate for Michigan governor Ryan Kelley was arrested by the FBI on Thursday and was taken into custody while at his home.

The FBI arrested Kelley on misdemeanor charges related to his involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The Republican candidate was seen at the Capitol on the day of the attack, although he has maintained that he never entered the building. 


“Mr. Kelley is to make his initial appearance this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan,” Bill Miller, a spokesman for the D.C. Attorney’s Office, told the Washington Examiner. “A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

Kelley was arrested on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and engaging in disorderly and disruptive conduct on restricted grounds during the Jan. 6 riot, according to the case filing. He was also charged with knowingly engaging in acts of violence against a person or property while in a restricted building or on restricted grounds. 

The FBI gathered evidence from video evidence from several anonymous sources, who also provided photos of Kelley at the Capitol during the riot. The agency used this evidence to press charges against the candidate. 

FBI officials arrested Kelley while carrying out a search warrant in his home Thursday morning. Agents also had an arrest warrant for the Republican candidate when they entered the home, an FBI official confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

Kelley had also come under scrutiny for posting a livestream in January 2022 that encouraged poll workers to tamper with voting machines.

“My message was if individuals working the election expect fraud, that they repair the injury,” Kelley told News 8 after the video was posted. “I stand by that 100%. The Left is mad that we are taking control of the narrative, and we will not let them steal another election.”


Kelley is one of five Republican candidates left remaining on the August primary ballot after five others were disqualified from the race for failing to meet signature requirements.

The Washington Examiner reached out to Kelley’s campaign for comment but did not receive a response.

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