Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced charges against John Sullivan, a self-described left-wing activist who recorded the fatal police shooting of a Trump supporter inside the U.S. Capitol last week.
Sullivan, the founder of a group called Insurgence USA, which formed in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol, civil disorder, and violent or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Sullivan, 26, faces separate charges of rioting and criminal mischief in connection with an incident in Provo, Utah on June 30, 2020, where a person was shot and injured during a protest against police brutality.
An FBI affidavit issued against Sullivan on Thursday cites comments he made on video he recorded during the Capitol breach.
Sullivan told FBI agents as well as members of the media that he showed up at the Capitol to document the activities of Trump supporters who were protesting the results of the presidential election. But the FBI affidavit indicates Sullivan was acting more an active participant in the riots than as a journalist.
“There are so many people. Let’s go. This shit is ours! Fuck yeah,” he is heard saying in the video, according to an FBI affidavit from FBI Special Agent Matthew Foulger.
“We accomplished this shit. We did this together. Fuck yeah! We are all a part of this history,” he also said, adding: “Let’s burn this shit down.”
Sullivan was filming as a Capitol police officer shot Trump supporter Ashli Babbit as she attempted to enter a barricaded section of the Capitol. Babbit, a 14-year Air Force veteran later died.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper hours after the fatal shooting, Sullivan acknowledged he was not a Trump supporter, but denied instigating the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
“I don’t want to see people get hurt unnecessarily,” he told Cooper.
Some Trump supporters have pointed to Sullivan’s presence in the Capitol to claim that left-wing activists may have served as agent provocateurs, egging on Trump supporters to break into the Capitol and commit violence.
Sullivan, who uses the online name JaydenX, addressed those allegations in a tweet on Jan. 10.
Let’s clear the air so that these right-wing MF, especially @RudyGiuliani and his band of #trumpets, are coming after me, a black man filming at the #uscapitol. I was there to document an event of @realDonaldTrump‘s so-called #stormthecapitol on Jan 6th. pic.twitter.com/xPC3D4N4Cp
— Jayden X (@realjaydenx) January 10, 2021
Of the people charged so far in connection with the riots, Sullivan appears to be the first with overt left-wing leanings.
Prosecutors have charged dozens of people so far in connection with the riots, many of whom were outspoken Trump supporters. Derrick Evans, a former Republican delegate from West Virginia, was charged with illegally entering the Capitol. Bradley Rusktales, a former CEO of a marketing company who also faces charges, donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Trump campaign and other Republicans.
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