Man facing riot charges in Utah on front lines of Capitol mob

John Sullivan, founder of Insurgence USA, speaks at a protest in Provo on June 29, 2020. He was also on the frontlines of the mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (Preston Crawley)

The self-proclaimed organizer of the June 29, 2020 protest in Provo that ended with one person shot and Provo police in riot gear was on the front lines of the mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

John Sullivan, who has a Sandy, Utah address, claims in a video posted on Twitter he was “there just to document the events and to be a part of history.”

Sullivan is part of a new breed of “guerrilla journalists” who use social media to both plan and “cover” the sometimes-violent protests they help plan and execute. He filmed video posted by the Washington Post that showed activist Ashli Babbitt being shot just after he warned Capitol police to get out of the mob’s way as they broke through doors leading to the House chamber.

A tweet from his account has a “dump Trump” label advertising a counter protest to “kick these fascists out of D.C.” at the same time President Donald Trump was rallying his supporters to march to the Capitol.

Another video posted from his Twitter account shows him in police custody the night of Jan. 6.

Sullivan’s involvement in the Capitol breach has drawn the attention of many Trump supporters, including Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

“D.C. is treating attack on Capitol like a traffic offense. This suspected BLM activist who invaded Capitol has already been released,” Giuliani said Jan. 8 in a tweet after videos came out of Sullivan on the phone saying he would not be charged after breaking into the Capitol.

Sullivan faces criminal charges in Utah for rioting and property destruction related to the June protest in Provo. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 9.

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