UNITED STATES—On Thursday, January 14, the Department of Justice announced that John Earle Sullivan, of Utah, has been charged in connection with the riots at the U.S Capitol that occurred on Wednesday, January 6. Sullivan is the founder of Insurgence USA, an activist group formed after the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
Sullivan was charged by complaint with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and one count of interfering with law enforcement engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties.
According to the complaint, Sullivan was wearing a gas mask and bulletproof vest during the incident. He entered the U.S capitol through a broken window and pushed past U.S Capitol Police once inside. Sullivan also admits to filming and being depicted in video footage that shows him outside the Speaker’s Lobby during the shooting of a woman by Capitol Police.
Sullivan allegedly cheered on the breach, “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 s— is ours! F— yeah,’ ‘We accomplished this s—. We did this together. F— yeah! We are all a part of this history,’ and ‘Let’s burn this s— down,” stated in the affidavit.
Insurgence USA, the activist group formed by Sullivan, has several videos and images on their Instagram depicting anti-Trump activism. In one Instagram post, there is a picture captioned “Time to kick this fascist out of DC on January 6, 2020. Trump is not our president dump him for good location Washington monument 11:00 AM visit www.insurgenceusa.com for more information. https://fb.me/e/dmYqUe0Nq.” The picture also has wording on it that states “KICK THESE FASCISTS OUT OF DC JANUARY 6TH, 2021. DUMP TRUMP FOR GOOD.”
Sullivan was also arrested and charged with rioting and criminal mischief in July 2020 in relation to a protest he organized.
“The protest traveled on the roadways blocking motorists who have the right of way. John Sullivan blocked vehicles from freely moving lawfully. During the course of the protest, two handguns were brandished and two shots fired toward a motorist traveling to Home Depot. Vehicles were damaged by protestors as well as by John Sullivan,” according to an affidavit from his arrest. Sullivan was also captured on video threatening to beat a woman in an SUV.
Sullivan claims he is a journalist and was only at the U.S Capitol to document and report. He has also admitted that he has no press credentials, law enforcement has not revealed any connection between Sullivan and any journalistic organizations.