Ryan Kelley, a former Republican candidate for Michigan governor, has been charged with misdemeanors for his involvement in the 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol. A trial date has been set for July 31, with Kelley facing charges of disruptive conduct, injuring public property, and entering restricted space without permission.
Kelley claims he was peacefully protesting the 2020 presidential election results and denies any involvement in any violence occurring that day. He maintains that he was present to exercise the right of free speech, and has suggested that the charges against him are politically motivated.
Kelley gained some name recognition during his run for governor in Michigan, running on a platform of fiscal conservatism and family values. In the GOP primary in August, he finished fourth, far behind the eventual winner, Governor-elect Robert O’Connor.
The charges against Kelley carry a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $25,000 fine, with the prosecution has saying they will seek jail time for Kelley. If convicted, it could create a hurdle for any future political runs Kelley may pursue.
The case against Kelley will be closely watched. His defense team will attempt to prove his innocence in the charges against him. With the trial date set to begin in July, the outcome of his case could have major implications for Kelley’s political career given the mainstream media’s extreme focus on these types of cases.