After his arrest last month for joining the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, Ryan Kelley he boasted that the raid had only increased his chances of winning Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
“If you didn’t know me before, you know me now,” he said repeatedly.
But on Tuesday, Kelley received personal proof that not everyone is willing to ignore an attack on our democracy. She started when she logged into the Airbnb app on her phone.
My name is Cedar and I belong to the Airbnb Trust Team.
After a routine review, we have determined that your account should be removed from the Airbnb platform. Deletion means 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 was permanently deactivated due to attending the DC rally on January 6,” he told The Daily Beast in a subsequent email of his own.
Hearing about the ban, he tried to play the victim and turn her into his political advantage, just as he did with the arrest. And he needed the extra boost, having risen to first place in a field of six candidates just after the drop, but recently slipped back to second or third.
“If you want to know who is going to fight the most for us, look at who they are trying to silence the most,” he said in a Facebook post. “The corporations and government woke up coming to cancel anyone who goes against their extremist agenda. I will not be intimidated by the left communists! “
He tried to bolster his case for his alleged unfair treatment by posting an Airbnb review of an owner named Brandy.
“Ryan was an ideal guest! Great communication, rules respected and left the space in good condition. I would definitely host him again.”
That’s not what the Capitol Police would say about the mob on January 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 January 11. One section of it is titled “Prohibition of Persons Identified as Involved in Criminal Activity on Capitol Hill.”
“When we learn from the media or law enforcement sources the names of individuals confirmed to be responsible for violent criminal activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, we investigate whether the individuals named have an Airbnb account,” he says. “This includes the cross-reference to DC Metropolitan Police January 6 arrest records. 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 people physically involved in the uprising on Capitol Hill. Specifically, we’ve shared that as we learn of people charged with federal crimes related to the riots, we remove them from Airbnb if we find they have an account. We have applied this approach consistently and transparently.”
Kelley escaped being banned earlier because he had not been among those arrested immediately after the attack. But Airbnb’s policy remained in place for the next few months as the FBI slowly pieced together a case that began with a tip 10 days after the attack.
“On January 16, 2021, an anonymous tipster from Michigan submitted an online tip to the FBI National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) via tips.fbi.gov, which identified that Ryan Kelley was in the attack on Capitol Hill. on January 6, 2021.” says the subsequent criminal complaint. “The tipster provided photos of who they believed to be Ryan D. Kelley (KELLEY) at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The information provided by the tipster showed KELLEY at the US Capitol in a black coat, a backwards black baseball cap with a rectangular US flag emblem above the brim and aviator sunglasses.”
FBI agents confirmed to their satisfaction that the man was indeed Kelley. The complaint says the video shows the same figure “in a crowd of people who are assaulting and pushing law enforcement officers.” The figure at one point stops and leans over, picking up his cell phone.
“At approximately 2:25 p.m., the individual in the black hat uses his cell phone to take a photo of blood on an architectural feature in the United States Capitol,” the complaint alleges.
Several photos and videos released by federal prosecutors show the figure gesturing, sometimes with one hand, sometimes with both, for the mob to follow him to the Capitol.
“Come on! That’s it! This is war baby!” he was recorded screaming.
But he doesn’t seem to really go in.
“I didn’t go into the Capitol or any building,” Kelley said later. saying a Michigan radio station.
If so, Kelley displayed a form of cowardice no less cowardly than that displayed that day by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who goaded the mob by raising a clenched fist while safely behind police barricades and was later caught on video. inside the Capitol fleeing. these same people. Kelley motioned for the insurrectionists to follow him and then apparently fell behind as they continued inside.