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AG: It Would Be 'Difficult' To Remove Kelley If Elected Gov, 'Even If Convicted'

06/15/22 11:09 AM By John Reurink
(Source: MIRS.news, Published 06/14/2022) Attorney General Dana Nessel said it is "shocking and yet unsurprising all at the same time" that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley's recent arrest may help build his coffers.

Nessel's comments came Monday in an interview with ABC News Live.

"Frankly, there's no way to keep him off the ballot and if he were to win it would be very difficult to remove him from office, even if he's convicted," Nessel said. "So it's a difficult set of circumstances. We just have to hope that the voters of the state of Michigan feel as though this is an important enough reason to ensure that this man is not elected governor of a state of over 10 million people."

The FBI arrested Kelley on Thursday on misdemeanor charges that allege he knowing entered and remained in a restricted building as well as willfully injuring or committing depredation against U.S. property.

The FBI affidavit describes Kelley as an active participant in the riot, noting that he is seen moving to stairs, climbing onto an architectural feature and scaffolding. It appears as if he's waving to the crowd behind him to move toward the stairs leading into the Capitol building.
Kelley, a former planning commissioner in Allendale Township, said after his first court appearance that his arrest boosted his support.
When asked how difficult it would be to prosecute, Nessel noted federal authorities do not have the same tools that Michigan has when it comes to domestic terrorism.

Her office recently obtained the first four convictions against a white supremacy group that was training with firearms for the purpose of causing an insurrection.

"The federal authorities don't have the same ability, oddly, that we have here in Michigan," Nessel said. "So it's much harder for them to pursue these cases based on a lack of laws involving domestic terrorism, so they have to sort of work around it. I think that's a problem and it's something I really believe has to be addressed at the federal level."

To date, the AG's office has five known major investigations involving what Nessel said are "high-level Republicans" that were "referred to me mostly by other Republicans."

Those investigations include the fraudulent petition signatures from five Republican gubernatorial candidates who are not targets of the investigations, and two organizations, "Michigan! My Michigan!" and the Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility," which are tied to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).

A third investigation involves the Republicans who signed and submitted a certificate falsely claiming Donald Trump won Michigan's electoral votes. Nessel has sent that review to federal prosecutors, but she said she would consider state charges if the feds do not act.
The AG's office has not publicly confirmed two potential investigations – former House Speaker Lee Chatfield who may have funneled political contributions to himself and others, and whose sister-in-law accused him of sexual assault; and the seizure of voting machines in Roscommon County and elsewhere – although both topics have been extensively reported.

The AG's office is also investigating people who allegedly spread lies about the 2020 presidential election for personal reasons and it is speculated that could involve Republican attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, who championed such claims in an Antrim County lawsuit.