An anti-Trump Black Lives Matter activist, who once vowed he would “rip” the president from office and threatened to “burn it all down,” was caught inside the U.S. Capitol building during Wednesday’s riots.
John Sullivan, a prominent Utah-based BLM activist and the founder of far-left group Insurgence USA, told Fox News Thursday that he was just in the Capitol to “document” the events.
“There’s this narrative going around right now that Antifa was the people there causing the riots, causing the tension, they were the only people breaking into the Capitol, and I wanted to be able to tell a part of history and show that that was anything but the case,” Sullivan claims.
The radical-left Insurgence USA organization describes itself as “the revolution” on its website.
It started leading anti-police protesting last year following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
During an August 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Washington, D.C., Sullivan gave a speech to an angry mob and unleashed a torrent of violent rhetoric while pointing to the nearby White House.
“We … about to burn this s**t down,” Sullivan vowed as he riled up the crowd.
“We gotta … rip Trump right out of that office right there,” he continued.
“We ain’t about … waiting until the next election,” he warned.
He then led the crowd in a chant of, “It’s time for revolution.”
Video of his remarks, which include graphic language, can be found here.
Sullivan told Fox News he didn’t notice other left-wing activists inside the building.
But he added that he couldn’t know for sure without speaking to everyone individually.
“As far as being able to understand who is in the crowd, based on being around protests a lot … I didn’t see any people who were originally at BLM protests,” he claimed.
Sullivan admitted he was standing near Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt when she was shot and killed in the Capitol after video appears to show him on the scene.
Sullivan told Fox News he regularly attends protests to “record what’s going on,” including a clash involving Proud Boys on Tuesday near D.C.’s Black Lives Matter Plaza.
“It’s just recording, solely, and not being active in it,” he claimed, although he reportedly was arrested in connection with protests back in Utah over the summer and admitted climbing into the Capitol through a window.
His Insurgence USA group’s website advertised an event called “Kick These Fascists out of DC” on Wednesday around the same time as a pro-Trump rally near the National Mall.
After the Trump rally, a mob of demonstrators breached the Capitol, ransacked congressional offices, and stormed the Senate floor, prompting a chorus of condemnations from members of both major parties.
The breach interrupted a joint session of Congress aimed at validating the presidential election results.
Congress reconvened later in the evening and finished the process.
Sullivan tweeted several videos taken inside the Capitol Wednesday.
One contained an up-close view of the fatal shooting of Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, at a barricaded Capitol doorway.
Police later said she’d been shot by an officer.
The acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, announced a slew of charges in connection with the chaos Thursday, including for weapons possession, assault, and theft, and said more would come.
Sullivan’s Utah arrest was in connection with a protest where a different protester allegedly shot a passing motorist during a confrontation, according to the Deseret News.