In a stunning change, prosecutors are removing the charges against Capitol protester Chris Kelly whom the FBI claimed had entered the Capitol building.
“The defense counsel have discussed the case and upon reflection, the government feels that dismissal at this time serves the best interest of justice,” prosecutors said. The judge has not agreed to the case dismissal yet.
Kelly was arrested on January 21. Months after his detainment, officials determined that he never entered the building. He was kept after a federal complaint charged him with felony obstruction of Congress.
This is the first federal Capitol case that prosecutors have dismissed. It collapsed because of a lack of evidence.
DOJ is moving to dismiss charges against Jan. 6 defendant Chris Kelly, which is a first. The filing is light on details, says prosecutors based the decision “upon reflection of the facts currently known to the government.” Here’s the original complaint: https://t.co/USgWwkC4AC pic.twitter.com/oJ9VmfYhy8
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 1, 2021
Kelly was detained after an anonymous informant had the FBI investigate his Facebook account. There was a picture on the website that showed the protester posing at the Capitol during the protest.
“We’re in,” Kelly said in one of his Facebook posts that the FBI claimed were posted online at around the same time the Capitol building break in. They also asserted he published a photo from within the Capitol which ended up not being his photo.
The FBI used statements made by Kelly on Facebook that included: “Taking this by force now.”
Kelly’s case did not have cellphone data that would prove if he was inside the building or not. Now, officials are saying they have determined that Kelly never entered the building.
“Since he did not go inside, the charges were removed,” an official said.
Kelly’s case is not the first time the DOJ has had issues with its investigation.
In Jan., a prosecutor claimed that some of the protesters had plans to “capture and kill” elected officials.
The comment quickly made news headlines overnight. The current U.S. attorney warned journalists that there was no evidence of assassination plots and said there was a “disconnect” between prosecutors in various jurisdictions.
Author: Steven Sinclaire