Black Lives Matter Activist Charged for Inciting Capitol Riot
John Sullivan arrested by FBI after video shows he urged rioters to destroy Captiol
A prominent Black Lives Matter activist has been arrested by the FBI and charged with inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
John Sullivan, a Utah-based BLM organizer and the founder of far-left group Insurgence USA, was charged after federal investigators obtained videos showing him urging protesters to become violent and destroy property while he was inside the Capitol.
Sullivan is now the subject of a criminal complaint in connection with his alleged role in instigating the violence that left five people dead, according to the DOJ.
As Neon Nettle previously reported, Sullivan was already placed in the center of the riots after he uploaded videos of the events to social media as they unfolded.
The activist claimed he was just there to "document" the violence but admitted he was standing near Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt when she was shot and killed in the Capitol after videos appear to show him on the scene.
In video footage he provided to the FBI Sullivan can allegedly be heard egging on protesters, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Sullivan had shared the videos to his YouTube and Twitter accounts under the pseudonym Jayden X, according to Fox News.
He was charged Thursday in federal court in Washington after being arrested by the FBI.
He remains in custody in Tooele County, in his home state of Utah, on a U.S. Marshals Service hold request.
Inside the building, he told rioters that "We got to get this s--- burned," and "it’s our house m------------," according to an affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Matthew Foulger.
He faces federal charges of civil disorder, entering a restricted building, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
Sullivan also allegedly told Foulger that he had been in the Capitol during the riot, entering through a broken window while wearing a ballistic vest.
As protesters climbed over a wall near the Capitol entrance, he allegedly exclaimed in the video, "You guys are f------ savage. Let’s go!"
"There are so many people," Sullivan’s voice can be heard saying as the camera shows a large group of people making its way toward the building.
"Let’s go! This s--- is ours! F-- yeah! I can’t believe this is reality."
"We accomplished this s---," he said at another point.
"We did this together. F--- yeah! We are all a part of this history."
In an interview with Rolling Stone published Wednesday, Sullivan claimed he was "putting on an act" to build rapport with the protesters.
"I had to relate to these people, and build trust in the short amount of time I had there to get where I need to go," he told the magazine.
"To the front of the crowd to see the dynamic between the police and the protesters, because nobody wants to see the backs of people’s heads from a far-off distance."
During the unrest, he tweeted an up-close video of the moment a Capitol Police officer fatally shot Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt during the riot.
It had been taken just a few feet away, at the height of the chaos outside the Speaker’s Lobby.
Investigators used this detail and other aspects of the video to confirm Sullivan’s alleged whereabouts within the Capitol, they said.
Sullivan told Fox News last Thursday that he’d entered the besieged Capitol to "document" what was going on and to dispute "this narrative going around" that Antifa instigators had played a role in the riot.
While he has denied ties to the violent leftist group Antifa, or "anti-fascists," in recent interviews, his group Insurgence USA had advertised an event called "Kick These Fascists Out of DC" on Wednesday - around the same time as a pro-Trump rally near the National Mall that preceded the Capitol chaos.
During an August 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Washington, D.C., Sullivan was filmed giving a speech to an angry mob and unleashed a torrent of violent rhetoric while pointing to the nearby White House.
"We ... about to burn this s**t down," Sullivan vowed as he riled up the crowd.
"We gotta ... rip Trump right out of that office right there," he continued, pointing at the White House.
"We ain't about ... waiting until the next election," he warned.
Video of his remarks, which include graphic language, can be found here.
After the Trump rally on Jan 6, a mob of demonstrators breached the Capitol, ransacked congressional offices, and stormed the Senate floor, prompting a chorus of condemnations from members of both major parties.
The breach interrupted a joint session of Congress aimed at validating the election results.
Congress reconvened later in the evening and finished the process.
Sullivan, who was still in custody Thursday, could not be reached for comment.