(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) John Sullivan, a left-wing instigator whose presence in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 debunked narratives that it was right-wing insurrection, took the witness stand Wednesday, during the closing arguments of his federal trial, to insist that he was an innocent bystander, NBC reported.
Sullivan, a Black Lives Matter activist from Utah who had been previously known for agitating and fomenting violence at right-wing events, was allegedly “wearing a ballistics vest and gas mask,” according to a press release from the Justice Department.
With his camera running, Sullivan “entered the U.S. Capitol through a window that had been broken out, pushing past U.S. Capitol Police once inside,” said the DOJ.
He posted the video online under the name “Jayden X.”
At his trial, prosecutors framed Sullivan as an “antiestablishment” grifter who was attempting to create chaos through his company, Insurgence USA.
“I’m gonna side with anyone who is ready to rip this s**t down,” prosecutors quoted him as saying.
In response, Sullivan claimed he was just a filmmaker trying to get the best footage possible.
“I was only observing,” Sullivan told the court. “I followed the crowd. I’m there to document.”
When shown footage of himself pulling out a knife in an attempt to encourage protesters to go to the House floor, Sullivan said that he forgot.
“I don’t remember bringing a knife specifically,” Sullivan said. “I’m not sure if that’s a knife.”
Further, he claimed to have been saying radical things in order to not be harmed.
“I say whatever I can to keep myself safe,” he told the jury.
But prosecutors countered with video evidence that showed Sullivan on camera actively attempting to incite people to commit acts of violence.
“We accomplished this s**t,” he was recorded saying in one video introduced as evidence by prosecutors.
“We did this together. F**k yeah! We are all a part of this history,” he continued. “… Let’s burn this s**t down.”
While mainstream media has widely condemned and vilified the Jan. 6 political dissidents, Sullivan, along with suspected government informant Ray Epps, may be one of the few to have gained the media’s support.
In fact, in a move prescient of their recent hiring of Hamas sympathizers to cover the conflict in Gaza—outlets such as CNN and NBC paid Sullivan for his ill-gotten footage inside the Capitol, earning Sullivan a windfall of at least $70,000 for his troubles.