Utah activist who provided video of deadly D.C. riot to investigators arrested

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The criminal complaint filed against John Sullivan lists him as the “leader of an organization called Insurgence USA through which he organizes protests.”
(Tooele County Sheriff’s Office)

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SALT LAKE CITY (KTVX) – A Utah activist is facing charges for his alleged involvement in the deadly U.S. Capitol protest last week.

The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office said that John Sullivan has been booked into their custody under a U.S. Marshals warrant. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Sullivan has been charged with entering a restricted building or grounds without authority; civil disorders; and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

The criminal complaint filed against Sullivan lists him as the “leader of an organization called Insurgence USA through which he organizes protests.”

According to Sullivan’s website, Sullivan was in the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 riot when demonstrators violently entered the building. A video at the top of his website shows rioters smashing glass on a set of doors that had been barricaded.

As a self-proclaimed video journalist, Sullivan has numerous videos also posted on his Twitter of the violence in the Capitol.

Sullivan tweeted in late December with “travel plans” for the “MAGA_CAVALRY.”

He was arrested in June in connection to riots in Provo, Utah and charged with 3rd-degree felony riot and criminal mischief. In July, officials say Sullivan was charged with rioting and criminal mischief for the Provo riots.

Federal investigators say they obtained a video posted on YouTube of Sullivan allegedly seen in the crowd, telling those around him over a microphone “we got to rip Trump out of office” and “we ain’t waiting until the next election.” He was also seen wearing a ballistic vest and a gas mask.

According to the criminal complaint, Sullivan told investigators he is an activist and journalist who films protests and riots, but admitted that he did not have any press credentials.

He also told investigators that he witnessed and filmed the fatal shooting of a San Diego woman inside the Capitol. That video was reportedly uploaded to the Internet.

A day after the riot, Sullivan told investigators “that he was willing to voluntarily provide a copy of all footage he recorded within the U.S. Capitol to law enforcement authorities.” Investigators say Sullivan shared video of the riot with them.

According to the criminal complaint, seen below, Sullivan admitted to entering the U.S. Capitol through a window that had been broken out.

In some of the video, Sullivan is seen talking to law enforcement. Investigators say that, during at least two encounters, Sullivan can be heard on the video arguing with officers, telling them to stand down so that they do not get hurt.

Among other things, Sullivan can be heard telling officers, “you are putting yourself in harm’s way,” “the people have spoken,” and “there are too many people, you gotta stand down, the people out there that tried to do that [explicit], they got hurt, I saw it, I’m caring about you.”

According to the criminal complaint, Sullivan provided interviews to various news outlets including CNN and ABC’s Good Morning America where he “described the scene inside the Capitol Building on January 6.”

Numerous arrests have been made following the violence in the Capitol, including a former school therapist that reached Vice President Mike Pence’s chair, a man who wore a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt, an Olympic gold medalist, a shirtless man that wore horns, the man photographed in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, and a tech company CEO.

The Salt Lake City’s FBI Office spoke with reports on Thursday about how they are working with agents in D.C. to follow up on leads from last week’s violence. During that press conference, no arrests of any Utahns were confirmed.

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