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Cedar Rapids Man Facing Charges In Capitol Riot Is Granted Pre-Trial Release

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Drew Angerer
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Getty Images
Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.

A Cedar Rapids businessman facing federal charges for his alleged role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump extremists has been granted pre-trial release. Leo Kelly made his first appearance in court Tuesday, the day after he was taken into custody by FBI agents.

At a hearing Tuesday, a judge granted Kelly pre-trial release, under conditions that he wear a GPS monitor and stick to certain travel restrictions. The judge cited Kelly’s relative lack of a criminal record in granting his release, according to KCRG-TV. In 2010, Kelly pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

For his alleged role in the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol, Kelly faces charges of Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority and Violent Entry with Intent to Disrupt the Orderly Conduct of Official Business and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds.

During the siege on the Capitol, rioters crossed police barriers and broke through doors and windows. They roamed the halls, some damaging federal property, rifling through federal offices and searching for members of Congress.

The attack forced lawmakers into hiding for hours, some barricading their office doors with furniture and arming themselves with makeshift weapons. The riot forced Congress to delay the certification of the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and resulted in the deaths of a Capitol police officer and four others.

According to court filings, a federal investigator was able to identify Kelly based on media interviews he gave to LifeSiteNews, a Christian website, and to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, during which he admitted to being inside the Capitol and shared video footage that he said he recorded while inside.

Kelly can also be seen on the floor of the Senate in a video recorded by Luke Mogelson of the New Yorker. At around 7:57 in the video, Kelly can be seen to the right of the dais, as others have climbed onto the dais and are praying and invoking the name of Jesus Christ.

In a court filing, FBI Special Agent Michael McGillicuddy said that Kelly also contacted a deputy U.S. Marshall on his way back from D.C., saying “he would turn himself in if an arrest warrant was issued."

Kelly is the second Iowan to be charged in connection with the siege on the U.S. Capitol. Doug Jensen of Des Moines faces six federal charges.

Photos and videos of Jensen inside the Capitol were widely circulated, showing him wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a large Q, in reference to the baseless conspiracy theory QAnon, and apparently leading a crowd in chasing a lone Black police officer, Eugene Goodman of the Capitol Police Department.

Goodman has since been hailed a hero for leading the crowd away from the Senate chamber at the same moment it was being sealed. Members of Congress have filed a bill that would award Goodman a Congressional Gold Medal.

Across the country, more than 125 people have been arrested for their alleged role in the attack.

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Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter