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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man charged in the U.S. Capitol attack Jan. 6, has been indicted on additional charges and pleaded not guilty Tuesday during a video hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Leo Christopher Kelly, 36, pleaded not guilty to seven charges — one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted Building or grounds; entering and remaining on the floor of Congress; entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol Building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.
Kelly was indicted earlier this month, according to court documents, and his arraignment was delayed a few times. He was initially charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted Building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry with intent to disrupt the orderly conduct of official business and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
In July, federal prosecutors told a judge they needed more time to work out a possible plea negotiation with Kelly’s lawyer, but since that time prosecutors across the country have discovered more information and evidence regarding the over 700 arrested in connection with the deadly Capitol riot, according to court documents filed in Kelly’s case.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, in an order continuing Kelly’s arraignment, said the investigation and prosecution of the “Capitol Attack” will likely be one of the largest in American history regarding number defendants and the nature and volume of evidence. Over 300 have been charged and as the investigation continues, prosecutors expect at least an additional 100 will be charged.
Documents and evidence gathered in the attack so far include: More than 15,000 hours of surveillance and bodycam footage from multiple law enforcement agencies and from about 1,600 electronic devices; over 210,000 tips which includes video, photo and social media, have been received; and over 80,000 reports and 93,000 attachments related to law enforcement interviews of suspects and witnesses, Lamberth stated in the order. As the investigation continues, the number of defendants charged and volume of evidence will only continue to grow, the judge noted.
Kelly is now accused of attempting to “corruptly obstruct, influence and impede” the official proceeding to certify the election results and entering and remaining on the Floor of Congress, “in any cloakroom and lobby adjacent to that floor, in the Rayburn Room of the House of Representatives, the Marble Room of the Senate,” and in a restrictive area where former Vice President Mike Pence was that day to certify the election results, according to the indictment.
He also is accused of disorderly and disruptive conduct in the Capitol and “willfully and knowingly paraded, demonstrated and picketed in the Capitol,” the indictment states.
Kelly, who works at his family-owned business as a broker of internet services, said during interviews with The Gazette and LifeSiteNews in January that he was “one of the first men to breach the Capitol Building and go inside with dozens of others,” which helped lead an FBI investigator to him.
He told The Gazette during the interview that he wasn't a violent person and wasn't part of any destruction or damage of property and items inside the Capitol and personal offices.
Kelly also was identified through video taken of the chaotic assault by the New Yorker magazine.
Kelly remains free on a personal recognizance bond pending trial. A status hearing is set for Feb. 25 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
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