In his first network interview in 118 days, President Joe Biden pledged on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Wednesday night to jail political opponents connected in any way to the events on Jan. 6, 2021. The next morning, Biden’s FBI arrested lead Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley, who was at the Capitol on the day Democrats have christened as a somber national holiday.
Kelley was arrested Thursday morning on “unspecified” charges, according to The Detroit News, after federal law enforcement raided his home near Grand Rapids.
The conspicuous timing of the arrest, just hours before the Select Committee on Jan. 6 launches its prime-time summer show trials, raises questions about to what extent the FBI is colluding with Congress as lawmakers conduct a political witch hunt in the lower chamber. The FBI already blocked Republican requests for the same material that was presented to Democrats on the committee, and last week, former Trump Trade Adviser Peter Navarro was arrested by agents days before Thursday’s hearing. He was the first to be indicted on charges related to the panel’s work.
Kelley, a prominent real estate agent, led the crowded GOP gubernatorial primary in Michigan, with 19 percent in the latest major poll conducted May 26-27 by the Target Insyght and Michigan Information and Research Service.
The opportune timing of his arrest is reminiscent of the fall of 2020, when one month before the presidential election, FBI agents uncovered a supposed kidnapping plot aimed at incumbent Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, to generate anti-Trump headlines of extremism. In April, a jury refused to convict four men trapped in the conspiracy as evidence mounted that the FBI spearheaded the operation as a means of entrapment.