John Earle Sullivan, 26, informed alternative news outlet Just The News that he was present at the riot. He also admitted entering the Capitol "as a journalist," saying that he was there "just to record the events that were going down." (Related: 'Suspected agent provocateur' John Sullivan filmed 'instigating' Capitol protesters to commit crimes.)
Sullivan was charged with being on restricted property, civil disorder and violent entry or disorderly conduct. Charges were filed Wednesday, Jan. 13, in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daphne Oberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah ordered Sullivan's release from jail Friday, Jan. 15, despite objections from government prosecutors.
According to the Department of Justice, Sullivan's defense holds no merit. The memo they released on Thursday, Jan. 14, regarding his arrest stated: "John Earle Sullivan was charged by complaint with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds 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 incident to and during the commission of civil disorder."
Sullivan was arrested on that same day.
FBI agent Matthew Foulger also alleged in an affidavit that rather than being a legitimate member of the press, Sullivan was actually complicit in the riots. Foulger asserted that the evidence shows he "knowingly and willfully joined a crowd of individuals who forcibly entered the U.S. Capitol."
Foulger's affidavit further stated that in the video footage Sullivan took, he could be heard cheering on the rioting crowd and urging them to push deeper into the Capitol by saying things like: "Let's go. This [expletive] is ours" and "Let's burn this [expletive] down."
Oberg ordered the release of Sullivan pending his trial, but under strict conditions. Sullivan is barred from social media and from attending protests while his electronic devices will be subjected to monitoring and searches. He must also wear a location monitor and remain at his residence in Sandy, a city to the South of Salt Lake City.
The judge also barred Sullivan from possessing any firearms and ordered him to find a job outside of Insurgence USA. Any violation of those conditions would not be taken lightly, according to Oberg.
Sullivan, who is also facing separate criminal charges related to the Provo protest he organized in June, founded Insurgence USA – a left-wing social justice group that calls itself an anti-fascist organization and has organized protests against supposed incidents of police brutality.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Reeves tried to argue that Sullivan should remain in jail pending the resolution of the case, saying that the latter "thrives at inciting chaos."
He also cited the fact that the FBI has reported the possibility of armed protests at all 50 state capitols and in Washington, D.C. ahead of the presidential inauguration. Reeves argued that Sullivan intends to return to the Capitol for Inauguration Day, and believes that he will do so if he is not in jail.
Reeves also pointed out the fact that Sullivan recently traveled to Portland, Oregon where he urged local Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters to resist the police. The prosecutor added that Sullivan has a "reckless disregard" for the court and for the welfare of innocent people.
Learn more about Sullivan and the other people and organizations responsible for the riot at the Capitol by reading the latest articles at Rioting.news.