Activist Who Egged on Crowd and Filmed Killing of Ashli Babbitt Convicted on Seven Criminal Charges

Activist Who Egged on Crowd and Filmed Killing of Ashli Babbitt Convicted on Seven Criminal Charges

A self-described journalist was convicted Thursday of participating in, not just observing and documenting, the incursion at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

A federal jury in Washington convicted John Earle Sullivan on all seven counts with which he had been charged, KSTU.

In addition to being charged with disrupting Congress during its vote to certify the 2020 presidential election, Sullivan faced three weapons charges as the result of his bring a knife into the Capitol.

He was one of the first arrests made in relation to the incursion, according to the outlet.

Sullivan had testified in his own defense, claiming to be a journalism who had gone to D.C. in expectation of a violent protest that he wanted to get on video.

“I was only observing,” Sullivan said in his testimony, according to NBC News. “I followed the crowd. I’m there to document.”

About the knife he was shown on video to be carrying, Sullivan said he didn’t “remembering bring a knife specifically,” and that wasn’t “sure if that’s a knife” in the video.

Some of that video, KSTU reported, also showed him encouraging the crowd and was used against him in his trial.

Sullivan later sold some of his footage, including the shooting death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt to media outlets for $90,000, according to the outlet.

“It does not matter whether Sullivan was holding a camera to record his crimes. He incited the mob at every step. He knew why he was there that day. He wanted to tear it all down,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barclay told jurors during closing arguments, according to Fox News.

“Everything that came out of his mouth was a ploy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebekah Lederer said during the trial.

Lederer said the only thing more offensive than Sullivan’s dishonest claims was his “request for you to believe it.”

“He came to engage in chaos,” Lederer argued.

Jurors agreed, taking only a few hours to deliberate before returning the guilty verdicts Thursday.

Some conservatives, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Sullivan was a Black Lives Matter member who was in D.C. on January 6 in hopes of stirring up trouble, according to The Washington Post.

BLM in Sullivan’s home state of Utah, however, denied that he was affiliated with the group and encouraged its members to avoid him, calling him a grifter.

Sullivan will be held in custody until his sentencing hearing. No date was immediately available for that hearing, but it was not expected to take place until after the first of the year.

KSTU noted that other January 6 defendants convicted on weapons charges have received prison sentences of “months or years.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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