A judge ordered the release of a liberal activist who was arrested after his alleged involvement in the siege of the Capitol.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Daphne Oberg granted John Sullivan’s request to be released on Friday days after he was charged in an 18-page criminal complaint “with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and one count of interfering with law enforcement engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties incident to and during the commission of civil disorder,” according to the Justice Department.
The judge placed strict conditions on release, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Reeves argued against, and said that any violation would “not be taken lightly,” according to Deseret News. He is barred from posting on social media, attending protests, and possessing firearms, and he also must wear a location monitor and remain at his residence.
Based on cases filed so far, Sullivan, 26, appears to be the first leftist activist charged by the Justice Department in connection with the riot that left five people dead, while a significant majority of those charged appearing to be vocal supporters of President Trump. FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that more than 100 people had been arrested so far.
FBI special agent Matthew Foulger wrote that Sullivan voluntarily spoke with the FBI last week, when he “claimed to be an activist and journalist that filmed protests and riots, but admitted that he did not have any press credentials.” Sullivan sent the bureau 50 minutes of video that he had filmed inside the Capitol.
Despite Sullivan’s involvement in leftist protests, he does not have a good relationship with the Utah chapter, where he’s from, of Black Lives Matter, according to the Washington Post.
Lex Scott, the chapter founder, has accused Sullivan of trying to “chase clout and get those media headlines” and said that they did not have a problem with violence at rallies until he showed up. Similarly, Tyeise Bellamy, the founder of Black Lives for Humanity Movement, a Salt Lake City group that works with the homeless, accused Sullivan of having “exploited black people, profited off our pain, and hurt the movement.”
He filmed the shooting death of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt from California, an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter. She was shot by a law enforcement officer while she attempted to climb through a broken window as a crowd tried to break down a door in the Capitol.