DOJ seeks pre-trial jail for left-wing activist charged in Capitol riot

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The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to keep left-wing activist John Earle Sullivan locked up until his trial in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, calling him a “recurring threat” to the public.

“The defendant was a brazen, vocal participant in the disruption and disorder surrounding the events on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Candice Wong wrote in a court filing Thursday. “Since his release on stringent conditions on January 15, 2021, he has repeatedly flouted court-imposed conditions.”

Sullivan was banned from using the internet under most circumstances upon his release last month – but prosecutors allege he ignored that restriction and sent an email to try and rally supporters to “pack” an upcoming virtual court appearance.

John Earle Sullivan is accused of repeatedly violating the terms of his pre-trial release after an arrest in connection with the Capitol riot.

John Earle Sullivan is accused of repeatedly violating the terms of his pre-trial release after an arrest in connection with the Capitol riot.
(Toeele County Sheriff’s Office)


He was ordered to stay off of social media, surrender his passport and remain on house arrest. He also had to stop working for the Insurgence USA activist group he founded.

“The clear and convincing evidence from the defendant’s own supervision officer is that the defendant has repeatedly attempted to circumvent fundamental conditions of his release, warranting revocation and demonstrating his unwillingness to abide by any combination of conditions of release,” Wong wrote.

Sullivan is accused of ignoring the social media ban to log into Twitter on multiple occasions, sending the email to Insurgence USA members and buying a new smartphone capable of circumventing further restrictions on his web access.

His attorney did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

Sullivan told Fox News last month that he had gone into the Capitol to “document” what was happening. The mayhem left at least five people dead, including a woman who was shot by Capitol Police just a few feet away from Sullivan. He recorded the shooting on video that he later gave to the FBI. Investigators used multiple other moments captured in the video to accuse him of taking part of the riot.


Prosecutors have also accused him of egging on others.

Inside the building, he told rioters that “We got to get this s— burned,” and “it’s our house m————,” according to an FBI affidavit.

“We accomplished this s—,” he said at another point, from within the mob. “We did this together. F— yeah! We are all a part of this history.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone published a few days later, Sullivan said he was putting on an act to build rapport with the protesters.

Sullivan, a self-described left-wing activist, has been arrested in connection with violent protests in the past.

Over the summer, in one of the first protests he organized in response to the police-involved death of George Floyd on Memorial Day, he was arrested on rioting charges after another protester allegedly shot a motorist passing through the demonstration. That case is ongoing.


As a result, he’s been disavowed by a number of progressive activist groups, including the Black Lives Matter chapter in his home state of Utah.

BLM Utah founder Lex Scott told Fox News last month that is not a member, has never attended a meeting, and that he has no association with the group.

“We don’t want to be associated with him if he’s out there storming the Capitol,” she said. “I don’t know what this man is doing — I don’t want any part of it.”

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