J6 defendant John Sullivan was found guilty on seven federal charges for protesting in the Capitol building on January 6.
Judge Royce Lamberth, scolded Sullivan after the DC jury found him guilty of, “Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Civil Disorder; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; Parading, Demonstrating, Picketing in a Capitol Building, Aiding and Abetting and a terrorism enhancement was added for “Entering a Restricted Area with a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon.”
Sullivan was taken into custody almost immediately after he was found guilty.
Like the majority of January 6 defendants, Sullivan committed no violent crimes on January 6 but witnessed the law enforcement’s deadly assault on demonstrators.
Judge Lambert, an 80-year-old former FISA court judge, was visibly asleep on the bench for several minutes at a time each day of the trial. At times Lambert’s eyes would nearly cross as he drifted back to sleep. Neither the defense nor the government took issue with Judge Lamberth’s apparent narcolepsy.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebekah Lederer and Michael Barclay warned the jury Sullivan’s “anti-establishment” ideology is dangerous, but made no mention of Sullivan’s activism with Black Lives Matter or alleged involvement with Antifa.
In exhibits presented during the trial, as Sullivan, a then-Black Lives Matter activist, walks towards the Capitol and is heard exclaiming, “Those people are standing for the truth! We need to help them! Let’s go! Let’s burn this shit down.”
The government also exhibited footage of Sullivan leaving the Capitol grounds on January 6, in which he is heard saying, “I have a problem with racists. I never had a problem Trump supporters.”
Sullivan captured some of the only footage of Lt. Michael Byrd killing Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt while she climbed a window in the Speakers Lobby of the Capitol building.
Prosecutors did not reference Ashli Babbitt’s name once during Sullivan’s trial and omitted footage of the bullet Lt. Byrd piercing Babbitt and the moments she bled out after falling to the ground. The government only referred to Babbitt as “the person who was shot.”
The government relied on footage Sullivan recorded himself, which he live-streamed to his followers on Discord, to make their case against him to jurors.
Sullivan took the stand and testified for over seven hours.
He maintained that he was present in the Capitol building only as a photojournalist, “with a tripod and a camera” to record history.
“The world knows what happened that day because of John’s videos,” Sullivan’s attorney Steven Kiersh argued.
VERDICT: John Earle Sullivan, of Utah, found GUILTY on all counts, including dangerous weapon enhancement.
Jury rejects his claim that he was acting as a journalist when he joined the mob at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6https://t.co/unpXa1oAOH
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) November 16, 2023
For hours, the government exhibited photographs and videos of Sullivan prior to January 6 in which he is seen holding firearms and protective gear.
In Sullivan’s defense, Kiersh noted Utah’s firearm laws permit open carry.
On January 14, 2021, the footage Sullivan lived streamed on his Discord server while walking with the crowd through the Capitol building on January 6 went viral.
Hours later, the FBI raided Sulivan’s home and confiscated his belongings while he was not present. He then turned himself in.
After spending one night in prison, he was prohibited from leaving the state of Utah.
Immediately after the jury announced the verdict on Thursday afternoon, Sullivan was taken into federal custody.
Sullivan, his mother, and this reporter sat in the cafeteria of the federal courthouse as the jury deliberated. Sullivan agreed to conduct a video interview with The Gateway Pundit after the trial. None of us suspected he would be detained moments later.
Stunned and stoic, as her son was hauled away, Sullivan’s mom held back tears and explained, “I didn’t give him his glasses… I didn’t even get a moment to give him a hug goodbye.”
“Where are they going to take him?” she asked.
Inmates are typically detained in the hole, or solitary confinement, for at least a week when detained in adherence with the Bureau of Prisons COVID-19 regulations.
Conspiracies surrounding Sullivan’s leadership position with Antifa and Black Lives Matter groups, including claims made by Sullivan’s brother James, were proven to be baseless and were unsubstantiated during trial.
I was part of a documentary that was centered around myself and my brother.
I made mistakes, told lies and clawed my way back after being defamed for working with him due to a narrative he created with a proud boy informant that was passed on to Alex Jones and powerful…
— James Owen (@realjamesowen1) November 9, 2023
Sullivan was not passing out Trump hats prior to the riot, or medal rods, as his brother James claimed, nor did Sullivan periodically leave the country or work in Ukraine following Jan. 6.
Sullivan also wore a black cap the entire day on January 6; he did not switch hats to disguise himself as in a Trump hat during the protest as was previously reported.
This photograph of him in a Trump hat found on his discord server was taken prior to J6.
Many suspect Sullivan is a federal plant like Ray Epps, but the government did Sullivan no favors throughout his trial.
Unlike Epps, who was charged with a misdemeanor offense in connection with the riot, Sullivan faces years in prison and was subjected to the same gross over-prosecution as Trump-supporting January 6 defendants.
The government exhibited photographs of Sullivan dressed in protective gear, which he sold on his website Insurgence USA.
Sullivan maintained on the stand that images posted on his social media accounts like the one below ahead of January 6 he used to promote his live-streamed broadcast of the event, not to actually meet with Antifa ahead of the Capitol riot.
Jade Sacker, a self-described “archivist,” testified as a witness for the defense. Sullivan and his brother James were the subjects of Sacker’s documentary, “A House Divided.”
Sacker accompanied Sullivan as they walked through the Capitol building and also recorded in footage included in the documentary. Sacker has yet to be arrested for her “role in the Capitol riot.”
Sullivan’s brother James told this reporter the documentary was slated to air on HBO in October but the FBI prohibited its release.
Conservative media is completely absent at the federal courthouse, while the corporate press dominates coverage of the January 6 trials.
This reporter attended four and a half days of Sullivan’s trial and jury selection alongside The Blaze reporter Steve Baker, NBC’s Ryan Reilly and WUSA’s Jordan Fisher also observed Sullivan’s trial for several hours.
Mystery surrounded Sullivan’s case leading up to his trial amid his alleged Antifa leadership, his brother James’ allegations and the government sanction and coverup of Ashli Babbitt’s murder.
The government deployed hundreds of confidential human sources and informants among patriot groups and within the crowd on January 6, in an operation that continues to sow division and distrust among Americans who are tangled in a web of the FBI’s unprecedented probe of protesters.
Baker published an extensive summary of Sullivan’s trial Tuesday, titled, “The contradictions of John Earle Sullivan”.
– I wouldn’t vote to convict based on “scary words” (or conspiracy theories). Just as I wouldn’t have in the Oath Keepers trial. No matter whether or not I like the words … or the person.
More to come. Stay tuned.
— Steve Baker – TPC (@TPC4USA) November 14, 2023
Regardless of his political orientation, Sullivan, like all January 6 defendants, is facing penalties for “using scary words,” Baker contends:
Was John Earle Sullivan a fed, a Black Lives Matter activist, or Antifa agent provocateur on January 6? Or was he simply an attention-starved adoptee into a white conservative Mormon family trying to find and establish his own voice?
Or is Sullivan another one among millions of Americans — on the left and right — with a strong sense that something is deeply wrong with our government, which made it easy for him to blend in seamlessly with MAGA on January 6?
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know which Sullivan brother is telling the truth.
But I do know John Sullivan is just as guilty of using “scary words” as were Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs. On January 6, perhaps from opposite sides of the political spectrum, each hoped to see a corrupt government metaphorically “burned to the ground.” But none of them lifted a finger physically to do so.
Originally from Virginia, Sullivan moved to Utah in 2016 to train as a speed skater for the Olympics.
Following the death of George Floyd, began political activism with Black Lives Matter.