Meet the BLM Activist Who Helped Direct the January 6 Capitol Incident

The events of January 6 were never as straightforward as they were depicted by those seeking an excuse to criminalize political opposition. Consider this characterization of the day: “Trump Supporters and Proud Boys stormed the United States Capitol and attempted a coup on our Democracy. Jan 6th, 2021, the moment that changed America forever.”

Those lines by themselves are not especially interesting. It’s who wrote them that should raise eyebrows.

Meet John E. Sullivan, founder of Insurgence USA. As reported by Utah journalist Justin Higgenbottom: 

When Black Lives Matter protests kicked off in Utah in late May, John Sullivan noticed a lot of the leaders were white. So the Black, 26-year-old, former speedskater decided to start his own organization. He called it Insurgence USA, and he immediately started organizing protests for racial justice.

Sullivan not only wrote about the awful MAGA people who stormed the Capitol, he actually helped encourage and direct the very same people he condemned. That’s not a wild conspiracy theory. That’s straight from a government affidavit filed in federal court.

The FBI reached Sullivan the day after the “insurrection,” which Sullivan condemned. Sullivan admitted to the FBI that he “entered the U.S. Capitol with others through a window that had been broken out.”

According to video obtained by the FBI, “After the crowd broke through the last barricade, and as SULLIVAN and the others approach the Capitol Building, SULLIVAN can be heard in the video saying at various points: ‘There are so many people. Let’s go. This shit is ours! Fuck yeah,’ ‘We accomplished this shit. We did this together. Fuck yeah! We are all a part of this history,’ and ‘Let’s burn this shit down.’”

When law enforcement attempted to stop the scrum in which Sullivan embedded himself, he threatened the officers. The FBI affidavit notes, “In at least two encounters, SULLIVAN can be heard on the video arguing with the officers, telling them to stand down so that they do not get hurt. Among other things, SULLIVAN can be heard telling officers, ‘you are putting yourself in harm’s way,’ ‘the people have spoken,’ and ‘there are too many people, you gotta stand down, the people out there that tried to do that shit, they got hurt, I saw it.’”

The affidavit further notes that Sullivan helped break at least one of the Capitol Building windows. When the crowd encounters a closed door, “SULLIVAN pans to a closed door and can be heard saying, ‘Why don’t we go in there.’ After someone hits against the door, SULLIVAN can be heard saying, ‘That’s what I’m sayin’, break that shit.’” 

In later media interviews, Sullivan misleadingly suggested he participated as a kind of self-appointed journalist looking to document the event. He then condemned the events in his newsletter while failing to mention that he encouraged and directed part of the mob action.

Was Sullivan there to support Donald Trump? In November, Sullivan, a.k.a. “JaydenX” posted a video of himself marching with BLM protestors as he burned an American flag. According to the FBI affidavit, it obtained a separate video of Sullivan speaking to a mob “telling a crowd, over a microphone, ‘we about to burn this shit down . . . we got to rip Trump out of office . . . fucking pull him out of that shit . . . we ain’t waiting until the next election . . . we about to go get that motherfucker.’ SULLIVAN then can be seen leading the crowd in a chant of, ‘it’s time for a revolution.’”

While many of the other arrestees from January 6 continue to be held in custody with high or even no bail, the presiding U.S. magistrate mysteriously released Sullivan from custody on certain conditions. These included a condition that Sullivan refrain from continuing Insurgence USA operations.

Within days of his discharge, Sullivan allegedly violated the conditions of release, prompting the government to file a motion to have him taken back into custody. In that motion, the government alleged,

On January 27, 2021, the defendant’s supervision officer reported that the defendant had committed four violations of his release conditions on January 17, 18, 19 and 26, 2021, respectively. The first two alleged violations involve the defendant’s alleged logins to Twitter accounts @insurgenceusa, @realjaydenx, @activistjohn while the defendant had been prohibited from accessing enumerated social media websites, including Twitter; had been instructed by his supervision officer that he could use the Internet only under his father’s supervision; had been admonished that he could use the Internet only for work or employment purposes; and had been further admonished that he could do no work with or for Insurgence USA. The third alleged violation involves the defendant’s purchase of an Internet-capable phone in direct contravention of his supervision officer’s instructions, and apparent attempt to seek out alternatives to Facebook—another prohibited platform—on the Internet. The fourth alleged violation involves the defendant’s January 26, 2021, appearance on ‘Infowars’ for which he purportedly requested that Insurgence USA’s website be specifically plugged on the show so that people could ‘follow’ him and the organization.

Yet, as of this writing, the record appears to indicate that Sullivan remains free on bond. 

To be fair, the BLM movement began to disavow Sullivan before January 6 as some suspected him of organizing and encouraging excessive violence within their own protests.

Among the lingering mysteries surrounding the events of January 6, we still don’t know the cause of death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Early reports that a Trump supporter struck him with a fire extinguisher have since been quietly debunked, as it now appears his body showed no sign of blunt force trauma. 

We also still don’t know who killed Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran from Southern California who was shot trying to enter the House Speaker’s lobby through a broken window. The shooter wore a nice black suit, a dress shirt, and had cufflinks uncharacteristic of a Capitol police officer. He was evidently cleared of wrongdoing, but that’s about all we know. 

Further adding to the mystery is a strange claim by one of the protestors that he worked for or with the FBI. 

It’s hard to know what to make of the events of January 6 as many questions continue to dog the otherwise made-to-order political drama. One thing we know from experience is that if the answers to these questions facilitated the get-Trump movement, they would already be splashed across the pages of every legacy media outlet.

From the beginning, the entire affair seemed completely uncharacteristic of a patriotic and peaceful movement seeking to protect and preserve American greatness. From my understanding of news accounts, the vast majority of the protestors engaged in lawful protest outside the restricted areas of the Capitol. 

We spent months listening to legacy media distinguish between legitimate peaceful protestors and the violent bad actors who used protests as cover. Of course, now that the shoe is on the other foot, the media has completely reversed the script to paint all protestors with the sins of a few agitators.

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About Adam Mill

Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Photo: Tooele County (Utah) Jail