Federal government seizes $ 90K from suspected left-wing activist who sold footage of riot on Capitol Hill

Federal authorities seized more than $ 90,000 obtained by a Utah man who sold video footage of the fatal shooting of Ashli ​​Babbitt in the U.S. Capitol uprising on Jan.6 by a group of pro supporters -Trump.

According to a 28-page criminal complaint obtained by Fox NewsJohn Earle Sullivan, a self-proclaimed political activist accused of entering the Capitol building and participating in the riot, claimed to be a freelance journalist.

However, investigators found no connection between Sullivan and a news organization prior to the event, and he admitted he had no press credentials. Sullivan also claimed that he does not make any money from his videos.

The images were transmitted to at least six news organizations, whose names were redacted in the court file.


The record notes that Sullivan expressed his excitement in audio recordings he captured of a woman’s filming on film.

“Everyone’s going to want this,” Sullivan reportedly said. “Nobody has it. I’m selling it, I could make millions of dollars.”

“I brought my megaphone to incite shit. I was like, guys, we’re going inside, we’re f… I’m gonna do these Trump supporters f- – this is all happening, ”Sullivan reportedly told a speakerphone. “But I mean you’ll see. I’ve got everything, I’ve got everything, everything on camera, everything I just told you, and I mean everything. Trust me when I say my pictures are worth a million dollars, millions of dollars. I’m holding on to this shit. “

Additionally, Sullivan posted a social media livestream around January 4, 2021, in which he announced he was in Washington, DC, for the January 6 protests.

“This is going to be massively crazy … Trump people? Shit. Shit. If it’s a mix of Trump people and Black Lives Matter people, damn, it’s even more intense for me, it’s something I want to see, “he reportedly said. . “I’m going to be a part of it, sure I’ll be in it, but I don’t do illegal stuff guys. John is a peaceful protester, I just recorded and showed you the world.”

According to the complaint, Sullivan now faces eight charges related to the riot, including charges of newly added weapons and misrepresentation.


Sullivan founded an organization called Insurgence USA following protests last summer over George Floyd, a black man who died while in Minneapolis police custody.

On Sullivan’s personal level website and the Insurgence USA website, he describes himself as an activist for “racial justice and police reform”. He has also shared articles on his websites and social media accounts where he is referred to as a Black Lives Matter activist.

John Sullivan (Tooele County Sheriff’s Office)
(Tooele County Sheriff’s Office)

In remarks to a small crowd at a Washington, DC intersection in August, Sullivan pointed at the nearby White House and said, “We … about to burn this shit” and “We have to .. . tearing up Trump came out of that office right there, ”adding,“ We’re not about… waiting for the next election. ”He then led the crowd in a chant of“ It’s time for the revolution. “.

However, the Utah Chapter of Black Lives Matter disowned Sullivan, describing him as a reckless agitator who was “blackballed” because of his behavior.

BLM Utah founder Lex Scott told Fox News that Sullivan had never joined the local, attended a meeting, or participated in his mission to lobby for racial justice and police reform.

“We don’t want to be associated with John Sullivan,” Scott said. “He seems to be some kind of loose cannon. So we just got away from him – but he’s like that thorn in my side that won’t go away.”

But Sullivan did not dismiss the label.

“I was afraid people would recognize me and think I was Antifa or, like, BLM or whatever,” Sullivan said. Rolling stone magazine in an interview about his experience inside the Capitol Riot. “All the time they’re shouting, ‘F – Antifa! F – BLM. ‘ I’m not saying I’m Antifa, by any means. But I really believe Black Lives Matter. “


Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was one of five people who died in the riot after being shot by a police officer as she tried to walk through a broken door in the President’s Lobby .

The Justice Department closed its investigation into Babbitt’s death on April 14, relieving the officer involved of any criminal charges.

“The investigation did not reveal any evidence establishing that at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe it was necessary to do so in a legitimate state. defense or to defend members of Congress and others evacuating the House from the House, “the DOJ said in a statement. declaration.

More than 440 people have been charged in connection with the January 6 attack.

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