Sullivan, 29, of Utah, has been officially charged on seven counts: Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Civil Disorder; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building; Aiding and Abetting, per the Department of Justice.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered Sullivan to be placed into custody until his sentencing date, per NBC.
Sullivan, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist who self-proclaimed to be a journalist on Jan. 6, recorded one of the most infamous videos from inside the U.S. Capitol on that day. The video showed the shooting death of military Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt at the hands of U.S. Capitol police officer Michael Byrd.
Sullivan sold the rights to several of his videos to multiple media outlets for tens of thousands of dollars. Both CNN and NBC paid Sullivan $35,000 for the video of Babbitt. Sullivan also received $5,000 from Left/Right Productions and $2,500 from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
During court testimony, Sullivan, who is the founder of Utah-based extremist group Insurgence USA, maintained that he had embedded himself among the pro-Trump crowd to record the January breach of the Capitol building. However, the court didn't buy his testimony.
Prosecutors submitted videos into evidence that showed Sullivan intentionally inciting and encouraging violence within the crowd.
"I was only observing," Sullivan said in his trial testimony. "I followed the crowd. I'm there to document."
Sullivan's testimony was followed up by prosecutors who played multiple videos of Sullivan urging on the mob which included a self-declaration of wanting to make "Trump supporters f-ck sh-t up."
"I'm gonna side with anyone who is ready to rip this sh-t down," Sullivan said in one video shared by prosecutors. "I brought my megaphone to instigate sh-t," he said in another video.
In addition, Sullivan can be heard saying on video, "We did this together. F-ck yeah! We are all a part of this history" and "Let's burn this sh-t down."
NBC News reports that prosecutors portrayed Sullivan as an "antiestablishment" activist who had the goal to "burn it all down" during the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot. An FBI special agent noted via sworn affidavit that Sullivan admitted that he had no press credentials. The investigation failed to yield "any connection between Sullivan and any journalistic organizations."
During initial court proceedings, Federal prosecutor Bryan Reeves pointed at Sullivan's protest-drawn provocateur persona and alleged that "He will pose as different members of organizations, even those that have disavowed him" just to stir up trouble. Sullivan also had plans to return to Washington for Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, Reeves emphasized.
Sullivan was arrested and charged earlier in July 2020 during an Antifa-Black Lives Matter riot where drivers in Provo were threatened and one was shot.
Additionally, it was disclosed that Sullivan was formerly an Uber-endorsed Olympic speed skating prospect. He performed a variety of odd jobs during his training before starting his new job as an Uber driver. The ride-hailing service linked to Sullivan's self-started GoFundMe page in an article headlined "Meet John: An Aspiring Speed Skater," which highlighted Sullivan. The campaign raised $2,500 before it was removed from the site.
The self-described social justice activist's checkered past has raised doubts about his genuine intentions. Even political left figures have questioned Sullivan's actions following the Jan. 6 riot and denounced his effective attempts to blend in with the protest crowd. Lex Scott, the head of BLM's Utah chapter, maintained to Fox News that his group "does not want to be associated" with Sullivan.
CNN's Anderson Cooper featured Sullivan on his show in the wake of the riot to present his account as the self-professed heroic reporter who both witnessed and captured the female Air Force veteran's death.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Join and support independent free thinkers!
We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.
Remind me next month