After his arrest last month for joining the crowd that stormed the Capitol on January 6, Ryan Kelley boasted that the bust only boosted his chances of winning the Republican primary for the job of Governor of Michigan.
“If they didn’t know me before, they know me now,” he repeated several times.
But on Tuesday, Kelley received personal proof that not everyone is willing to ignore an attack on our democracy. It started when he logged into the Airbnb app on his phone.
My name is Cedar and I’m part of the Airbnb Trusted Team.
After a routine review, we have determined that your account should be removed from the Airbnb platform. Deletion means that your account will no longer be accessible and you will not be able to create a new one.
The message told him to check his email for more details.
“I went to my email to look, and there was an email from Airbnb saying my account had been permanently deactivated due to my attendance at the DC rally on Jan. 6,” he said. to the Daily Beast in a later email.
Upon learning of the ban, he sought to play the victim and turn it to his political advantage, just as he got him arrested. And he needed an extra boost, having moved to the top spot in a field of six candidates just after the bust, but recently falling back to second or third.
“If you want to know who is going to fight the hardest for us, look at who they try hardest to silence,” he said in a Facebook post. “The woke corporations and the woke government are coming to cancel anyone who goes against their extremist agenda. I will not be intimidated by leftists! “
He tried to bolster his case for his alleged unfair treatment by posting an Airbnb review from an owner named Brandy.
“Ryan was an ideal guest! Excellent communication, rules respected and space left in good condition. I would definitely welcome him again.”
That’s not what the Capitol police would have said about the crowd on Jan. 6. And Airbnb responded to that outrage as if the people’s home had been its biggest listing. The result was a “Capitol Security Plan” that the company announced on Jan. 11. A section of it is titled “Barring Individuals Identified as Involved in Criminal Activity on Capitol Hill.”
“When we learn from the media or law enforcement of the names of individuals confirmed to be responsible for violent criminal activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, we are investigating whether the named individuals have an Airbnb account,” he said. “This includes cross-checking DC Metro Police January 6 arrest logs. If people have an Airbnb account, we take action, including banning them from using Airbnb.
An Airbnb spokesperson noted this week, “We have been very public about our approach to those physically involved in the Capitol insurgency. Specifically, we shared that as we learn of people being charged with federal crimes related to the riots, we’ll remove them from Airbnb if we find out they have an account. We have applied this approach consistently and transparently.
Kelley escaped the ban earlier because he had not been among those arrested immediately after the attack. But Airbnb’s policy remained in effect in the months that followed, as the FBI slowly built a case that began with a tip 10 days after the attack.
“On January 16, 2021, an anonymous Michigan tipster submitted an online tip to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) via tips.fbi.gov, which identified that Ryan Kelley was attacking the Capitol. on January 6, 2021,” reads the subsequent criminal complaint. “The tipster provided photos of who they believe was Ryan D. Kelley (KELLEY) at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Information provided by the tipster showed KELLEY at the U.S. Capitol wearing a black coat, black baseball cap to reverse with a rectangular American flag emblem above the bill and aviator sunglasses.
FBI agents confirmed to their satisfaction that the man was indeed Kelley. The complaint said the video shows the same figure “in a crowd of people assaulting and shoving law enforcement.” At one point, the character stops and bends down, raising his cell phone.
“At approximately 2:25 p.m., the individual in the black hat used his cell phone to take a photo of blood on an architectural feature of the U.S. Capitol,” the complaint alleges.
Various photos and videos released by federal prosecutors show the figure gesturing — sometimes with one hand, other with both — for the crowd to follow him around the Capitol.
“Let’s go! This is it…! It’s war baby!” he was recorded screaming.
But he doesn’t seem to actually get in.
“I didn’t go inside the Capitol or any building”, Kelley later Told a Michigan radio station.
If so, Kelley displayed a form of cowardice no less cowardly than that displayed that day by Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who woke up the crowd by raising his clenched fist while in security behind police barricades and was later filmed inside the Capitol fleeing. these same people. Kelley motioned for the insurgents to follow him, then seemingly stood back as they continued inside.
If Kelley had joined them, some of his own blood might have flowed. He also could have faced felony charges rather than four misdemeanors when he was finally arrested.
When he appeared before a judge this month, Kelley pleaded not guilty. He faces a maximum of a year behind bars if convicted, but there’s a chance he could turn the political boost into four years as governor. He appeared displeased when the judge denied his lawyer’s request that he “be allowed to carry his firearm in his own defense during the campaign”.
Kelley surrendered all the guns he had, but tried to be a Second Amendment champion by posting a photo of himself with a gun to his hip on Facebook in October, speaking as a co-founder of the American Patriot Council at a Stop the Steal rally. . Another photo shows him flanked by military types armed with AR-15 type rifles. Another image shows an assault rifle decorated with a small American flag, sitting on a range counter with two magazines carrying Ryan Kelley for Governor stickers.
If Kelley had actually stormed inside the Capitol rather than just urging others to do so while he took a picture of blood on the white marble, he could face felony charges. And a felony conviction would have meant he could no longer legally own a gun.
As it stands, Kelley can expect to be able to carry a gun on his hip again, no matter what the case. The primary may well be determined by who, if anyone, Trump approves. Trump isn’t backing Kelley yet, even though the 40-year-old real estate agent is so deluded that he refers to Jan. 6 as a day when America was at its best, not its worst.
“President Trump held a rally that day and he called on Americans to come out and support him, to shed light on the fraud that happened in our election. And there were a lot of American flags that day and there were a lot of people singing the national anthem. So that day, we were there to celebrate America. We will remember it for a very long time, I will say that.
He’ll get proof of that every time he tries to open a new Airbnb account, whether he’s a governor or a convicted felon, or both or neither.