The charges against Kelly came after a confidential informant pointed the FBI to his Facebook account, which he posed on the Capitol grounds during the January 6 riot. “We’re in,” said Kelly in a post that, according to the FBI, dates from around the time the Capitol was broken into. He apparently also posted a photo from inside the Capitol, the FBI said, although he was not in that shot.
Kelly’s Facebook account also contained a number of combative statements, including “Take this back by force” and “F — those snakes. From OUR HOUSE. ”Kelly also appeared in a photo of an American flag waving in front of the building.
However, later investigation revealed that Kelly had never actually entered the Capitol, according to a law enforcement officer.
Prosecutors allege breaking police lines outside the building is illegal, but few, if any, have been charged in federal court for this alone.
“Since he was not inside, the charges were dropped in the interests of the consistency of the investigation,” the officer said.
Kelly has been on pre-trial detention since he first appeared in court in January. He was traveling to Washington with his brother, a retired New York Police Department officer, to attend the January 6th events, the FBI said in a court record.
Kelly’s attorney Edward MacMahon declined to comment on the development. A Justice Department spokesman did not want to comment either.
More than 450 defendants are charged with storming the Capitol by a crowd loyal to President Donald Trump as lawmakers counted the votes.