An 18-page criminal complaint was filed and signed yesterday by a federal judge in Washington DC, charging John Sullivan with numerous offenses in connection with his actions inside the Capitol on January 6.
Early in the complaint, the FBI Agent who provided the affidavit in support described Sullivan as follows:
11. SULLIVAN… is a resident of Utah. Based on publicly available information and information provided by SULLIVAN in an interview on January 7, 2021,… SULLIVAN is the leader of an organization called Insurgence USA through which he organizes protests. On July 13, 2020, SULLIVAN was charged with Rioting and Criminal Mischief by the local law enforcement authorities in Provo, Utah, based on his activities around a June 30, 2020, protest in which a civilian was shot and injured…
12. The United States obtained a video of SULLIVAN, posted on YouTube, in which, while attending a protest in Washington, D.C., SULLIVAN can be seen telling a crowd, over a microphone, “we about to burn this shit down,” “we got to rip Trump out of office . . . fucking pull him out of that shit . . . we ain’t waiting until the next election . . . we about to go get that motherfucker.” SULLIVAN then can be seen leading the crowd in a chant of, “it’s time for a revolution.”
Who was he inciting?
Sullivan is known by the username “JaydenX” on some social media platforms.
Insurgence USA is an avowedly Antifa organization. Its website is still up and can be found at this link.
In the January 7 interview, Sullivan claimed he was a journalist who came to Washington to film the “Stop the Steal” rally. He admitted that he did enter the Capitol through a broken window, claiming that he was only following the crowd to document what was happening.
He told the FBI that he had filmed the shooting of Ashli Babbit, and show the footage to the Agent conducting the interview — footage he had already uploaded to the internet.
Very interestingly, at this point in the affidavit, the Agent does not refer to Babbit by name, but instead calls her “Victim 1.” In my experience, the use of “Victim” to describe her is meaningful. It has already been announced that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the shooting of Babbit by a Capitol Hill Police Officer.
There is nothing further in the complaint about anything said by Sullivan at that time. But on January 9 he was contacted again by an FBI Task Force officer and asked for access to the video which he provided.
At that point the Agent’s Affidavit begins to describe the events depicted on all the video taken by Sullivan that day, identifying him by virtue of his narration as he moved from location to location taking video.
Because Sullivan was taking video of a newsworthy public event, and he posted that video online in the manner of a “citizen journalist”, there might have been some First Amendment concerns to charging him with a crime if that had been all he did.
But the facts alleged in the Complaint rely heavily on the substance of Sullivan’s narration as events were happening — not just his descriptions, but the comments he was shouting to the crowds as he went along with them.
After the crowd broke through the last barricade, and as SULLIVAN and the others approach the Capitol Building, SULLIVAN can be heard in the video saying at various points: “There are so many people. Let’s go. This shit is ours! Fuck yeah,” “We accomplished this shit. We did this together. Fuck yeah! We are all a part of this history,” and “Let’s burn this shit down.”
SULLIVAN, once inside the Capitol Building, roamed the building with other individuals who unlawfully entered. During one of his interactions with others, SULLIVAN can be heard in the video saying, “We gotta get this shit burned.” At other times as he is walking through the Capitol, SULLIVAN can be hear saying, among other things, “it’s our house motherfuckers” and “we are getting this shit.”
Note that Sullivan doesn’t seem to be making any references to the actions of the Congress with regard to certifying the election of Joe Biden. Nothing he is quoted as saying to this point can be said to be sympathetic to pro-Trump demonstrators who have been blamed totally for the violence on January 6. In fact, in the first quote set forth near the top, he clearly expresses an anti-Trump sentiment by his words. That raises a serious question about to whom he was speaking? His words were not the kind of comments that you would expect to animate pro-Trump rioters as have been the dominant feature of media coverage and political blame.
At one point in the video, SULLIVAN enters an office within the U.S. Capitol, as seen in the screenshot below. Once inside the office, SULLIVAN approaches a window, also seen in the screenshot below, and states, “We did this shit. We took this shit.”
At another point in the video, SULLIVAN joins a crowd trying to open doors to another part of the U.S. Capitol which are guarded by law enforcement officers, as seen in the screenshot below. SULLIVAN can be heard on the video telling other individuals in the crowd, “there’s officers at the door.” Less than two minutes later, while officers are still at the doors and as others yell to break the glass windows in them with various objects, SULLIVAN can be heard saying, “Hey guys, I have a knife. I have a knife. Let me up.” SULLIVAN does not, however, ever make it to the doors.
The complaint charges Sullivan with a violation of 18 USC Sec. 231(a)(3) which makes it a crime to interfere with a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties during a civil disorder, and is punishable by up to I’ve years in prison.
He’s also charged with 18 USC Sec. 1752(a) which makes it a crime to make an unauthorized entrance into a government building with the intent to impede or disrupt official business, or to engage in acts of physical violence, and is punishable by up to 10 years.
Finally, he was charged with 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(D), which makes it a crime to enter either House of Congress with the intent to impede or disrupt official business.
The arrest of Sullivan and the allegations set forth in the complaint are evidence that left-wing agitators and rioters were present in the groups that stormed the Capitol last week. Sullivan was widely recognized on social media, and questions have been asked about why he had not yet been arrested since his identity and actions were not in doubt.
But a very important point to make here is that what Sullivan is charged with are the same crimes that were committed by Antifa and BLM protesters all across the country when they attacking federal buildings in various cities — actions which the media and the Democrat party excused as well as encouraged by taking steps such as setting up bail funds to get them out of custody.
The sentiments that animated protesters all across the country between May and November 2020 were the exact same sentiments that Sullivan was shouting as captured on his video, and quoted by the FBI Agent in the complaint.
Will the same politicians and left-wing activists that defended Antifa and BLM last summer now step forward to defend Sullivan today?