Former Michigan GOP Candidate Sentenced to 60 Days in Prison for January 6 Capitol Protest

former michigan gop candidate sentenced to 60 days in prison for january 6 capitol protest
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Conservative Ryan Kelley, a father of five and a former GOP candidate for Michigan Governor in 2022, has been sentenced to a 60-day prison term for his involvement in a non-violent misdemeanor charge related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol protest. Kelley, who is the sole provider for his family and the owner of Nucon Real Estate, admitted to participating in the protest but maintained that he never entered the Capitol building.

In a video shared on social media, Kelley was heard telling the crowd, “They can’t stop us all.” Notably, another individual, Ray Epps, who played a more significant role in directing protesters toward the Capitol, remains free.

Kelley revealed that the FBI had raided his home and arrested him in front of his wife and children during his gubernatorial campaign, during which he was considered a frontrunner in the GOP primary.

The former candidate’s fate was determined after nearly four years of legal proceedings. Kelley pleaded guilty in July 2023 to a misdemeanor charge of entering and remaining on restricted grounds. He confessed to having “rushed past U.S. Capitol police officers,” “assisting another protester in moving a metal bike rack onto the scaffolding,” and ripping a tarp on the inauguration stage.

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However, Judge Christopher R. Cooper, an Obama appointee, imposed a significant sentence on Kelley, citing concerns about his level of remorse for his non-violent actions. The judge referenced fundraising appeals made by Kelley in the years following the riot, in which Kelley referred to January 6 as an FBI setup.

Prosecutors argued that Kelley played an active role in the events of that day. They stated that he “shouted into the already riled up crowd,” encouraged rioters to move closer to the Capitol and police, supported another protester in moving a metal bike rack, and took a photograph of blood near the stairs.

In his statement to the court, Kelley asserted, “It’s not his fault, the former president, for my actions that day. He did invite us there, but my actions are my actions, and I own those.”

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