According to the US Justice Department, a left-wing activist who allegedly followed a pro-Trump mob into the Capitol in order to “document” the siege is now the subject of a criminal complaint in connection with his participation.
John Sullivan can be heard egging on protesters in a video he provided to the FBI, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Sullivan has also shared the video to his YouTube and Twitter accounts under the pseudonym Jayden X.
On Thursday, Sullivan was charged in federal court in Washington after being arrested by the FBI. He remains in custody in Tooele County, in his home state of Utah, on a US Marshals Service hold request.
According to an affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Matthew Foulger, Sullivan told rioters inside the Capitol building that “We got to get this s— burned,” and “it’s our house m——————.”
Sullivan faces federal charges of civil disorder, entering a restricted building, and violent entry or disorderly conduct. He also allegedly told Foulger that he had been in the Capitol during the riot, entering through a broken window while wearing a ballistic vest.
As rioters climbed over a wall near the Capitol entrance, Sullivan allegedly exclaimed in the video, “You guys are f—— savage. Let’s go!”
“There are so many people,” Sullivan’s voice can be heard saying as the camera shows a large group of people making its way toward the Capitol. “Let’s go. This s— is ours! F– yeah. I can’t believe this is reality.”
“We accomplished this s—,” Sullivan said at another point “We did this together. F— yeah! We are all a part of this history.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Sullivan said he was putting on an act to build rapport with the protesters.
“I had to relate to these people, and build trust in the short amount of time I had there to get where I need to go,” he said. “To the front of the crowd to see the dynamic between the police and the protesters, because nobody wants to see the backs of people’s heads from a far-off distance.”
Sullivan apparently made it there. During the incident, he tweeted an up-close video of a Capitol Police officer fatally shot Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt during the riot. It had been taken just a few feet away, at the height of the chaos outside the Speaker’s Lobby.
Investigators said they used this detail and other aspects of the video to confirm Sullivan’s alleged whereabouts within the Capitol.
On Thursday, Sullivan, the founder of a Utah-based group called Insurgence USA, said that he’d entered the besieged Capitol to “document” what was going on and to dispute “this narrative going around” that Antifa instigators had played a role in the riot.
While Sullivan has denied ties to Antifa, or anti-fascists, in recent interviews, his group Insurgence USA had advertised an event called “Kick These Fascists out of DC” on Wednesday around the same time as a pro-Trump rally near the National Mall that preceded the Capitol chaos.