DOJ Seizes $90,000, Charges Black Lives Matter Supporter Who ‘Stormed Capitol,’ Sold Footage to News Outlets
DOJ Seizes $90,000, Charges Black Lives Matter Supporter Who ‘Stormed Capitol,’ Sold Footage to News Outlets

By Jack Phillips

The Department of Justice (DOJ) seized $90,000 from a Utah man who sold footage of Ashli Babbitt being shot during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, according to court filings.

John Earle Sullivan, a political activist who reportedly attended Black Lives Matter protests last year and who allegedly agitated rioters inside the Capitol, was also charged with new weapons charges, according to the documents unsealed last week.

So far, more than 400 people have been charged in connection to the breach, which occurred as members of Congress were voting to certify the 2020 presidential election.

According to the court filings, Sullivan portrayed himself as an independent journalist who was reporting on the chaos, but he actually encouraged other participants to “burn” the building and engage in violence.

Sullivan is accused of having a conversation with others in the building and allegedly told them: “We gotta get this [expletive] burned,” according to court documents in his case.

“There are so many people. Let’s go. This [expletive] is ours! [Expletive] yeah,” he cheered after he and protesters entered the Capitol, the DOJ documents said. “We accomplished this [expletive]. We did this together. [Expletive] yeah! We are all a part of this history,” and “Let’s burn this [expletive] down.” The documents said that he allegedly called on others to burn the Capitol down multiple times.

At one point, he’s also heard saying, “I am ready bro. I’ve been to too many riots. I’ve been in so many riots,” the documents added. “It would be fire if someone had revolutionary music and [expletive],” Sullivan also allegedly claimed.

After the breach, Sullivan was seen, according to the documents, telling another individual that he “brought my megaphone to instigate [expletives]” and wanted to “make these Trump supporters [expletive] all this [expletive] up.”

Prosecutors alleged that Sullivan apparently broke a window inside and said, “I broke it. My bad, my apologies. Well they already broke a window, so, you know, I didn’t know I hit it that hard. No one got that on camera.”

Sullivan recorded video of the confrontation between rioters and police just outside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber that included the shooting of Air Force veteran Babbitt and, according to court filings, boasted to an unnamed witness that “my footage is worth like a million of dollars, millions of dollars.”

Sullivan sold that footage to several news outlets for a total of $90,000, according to a seizure warrant. The news outlets were redacted from the warrant.

After the breach in January, Sullivan appeared on several corporate media outlets including CNN and MSNBC.

During his CNN appearance in January, Sullivan said that he was “not on the Trump side” or the “MAGA side” and alleged he was just there to document the incident.

Sullivan in July 2020 was arrested in Utah for alleged rioting, making a threat of violence, and criminal mischief because he engaged in a riot that resulted in the shooting of a motorist amid nationwide Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year.

“As a protest organizer, John Sullivan is heard talking about seeing the shooting, looking at the gun, and seeing smoke coming from it. John did not condemn the attempted murder nor attempt to stop it nor aide in its investigation by police,” the police affidavit said, according to the Utah-based Deseret News.

Later, on Dec. 28, Sullivan also wrote on Twitter that he supported “armed revolution,” saying that it “is the only way to bring about change effectively.” His account was later suspended.

Sullivan, who has used the nickname “Jayden X” online, also tweeted in early January Black Lives Matter and Antifa slogans, calling for the system to be burned down.

And on Jan. 2, just days before the breach, Sullivan’s account wrote: “[Expletive] The System – Time To Burn It All Down. #blm #antifa #burn #[expletive]the system #abolishcapitalism #abolishthepolice #acab #[expletive]trump.”

The Epoch Times contacted Sullivan’s lawyer for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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