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Kelley is charged in January 6 attack on US Capitol, but still free to campaign for governor

headshot of Ryan Kelley
Ryan Kelley for Governor
Gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley was formally charged in federal court with participating in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021.

A Republican gubernatorial candidate charged with taking part in the January 6th insurrection will remain free to campaign while awaiting his next federal court date.

Ryan Kelley, who will appear on the August primary ballot, is charged with four misdemeanor counts. Each carries a one-year penalty.

Kelley is one of hundreds of people from across the country facing charges of taking part in the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. But Kelley is the only one running for governor of Michigan.

Kelley and his lawyer appeared via video before a federal judge in Washington DC, where he is accused of taking part in the rebellion that ransacked the US Capitol as part of an effort to derail the formal approval of President Joe Biden’s election.

Kelley asked the court for light travel restrictions and permission to continue carrying a concealed gun as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for governor. The judge said Kelley can travel within Michigan, but denied his request to carry a firearm. That’s a standard condition for someone awaiting trial.

Kelley is free on a personal recognizance bond, which means he’s posted no money as a guarantee he’ll show up for court dates.

Kelley will be allowed to travel to Washington DC for a July 7th in-person preliminary hearing. That’s where prosecutors have to persuade a judge they have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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