Ryan Kelley, a Republican candidate for governor in Michigan, was arrested Thursday and charged for his role in the riot at the Capitol last Jan. 6, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Kelley, a 40-year-old real estate agent, is one of the leading Republican candidates for governor of Michigan, with polls from late last month putting him at the top of the field. He began to mount his campaign not long after the Capitol attack last January, and questions about his potential role in the riot have surrounded his candidacy.
Images surfaced last February of Kelley at the riot, and a few months later the Michigan Democratic Party pointed to a video it says shows Kelley advancing on the Capitol last Jan. 6. “Come on, let’s go!” Kelley apparently says in the video. “This is it! This is war, baby!”
Kelley has tried to downplay his involvement in the riot, claiming in an interview last March that he “never took part in any forceful anything” and that he left once “things started getting crazy.”
Kelley’s arrest is the latest turn in a Republican gubernatorial primary that has been mired in controversy. Five candidates were recently booted from the race after submitting phony signatures to get on the ballot. Kelley, as of now, is still in the race. He’ll make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.