Far-left rioter John Sullivan received $35,000 each from CNN and NBC for the Jan. 6 footage he recorded of Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt’s shooting death inside the Capitol building. According to records filed in federal court, the Black Lives Matter militant—who is facing criminal charges by federal authorities for his alleged involvement in the Capitol Hill riot—was awarded $70,000 total from the two left-wing media outlets, The Post Millennial reported.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper featured Sullivan on his show in the wake of the riot. During the interview, Sullivan offered his account as the self-professed “heroic reporter” who both witnessed and captured the female Air Force veteran’s death. In addition to the invoices filed by Sullivan’s lawyers from the major broadcasters for rights to air his footage, the defendant also received $5,000 from Left/Right Productions, and $2,500 from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Daily Caller reported.
Sullivan’s legal counsel disclosed the payments as part of the argument that Sullivan was present at the time to “document and report” the event for journalistic purposes, not to incite or engage in violence.
Sullivan’s attorney, Steven Kiersh, wrote in another court filing that the: “Defendant is legitimately self-employed as a documentarian and it is oppressive to require that he not be allowed to continue his primary area of employment for an extended period of time.”
However, this potrayal of Sullivan, a 26-year-old Utah native, is not without controversy. As Becker News reported, “CNN went beyond merely ignoring a BLM/Antifa sympathizer’s role in inciting the mob… the network invited him on as a mouthpiece.”
Receipts via Politico’s Kyle Cheney and posted via Becker News evidence the remarkable funds that CNN and NBC paid to Sullivan for his “documentary” work:
The federal judge overseeing Sullivan’s case ruled on Tuesday that he can continue to use social media, but that he must cut ties with the group he founded that the Justice Department claims promotes and glorifies violent protests, Politico reported.
Sullivan is accused of knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without authority, civil disorder, and violent entry or disorderly conduct. Moreover, he was later hit with an additional charge: obstruction of congressional efforts to count and certify the presidential election.
The founder of Utah-based extremist group Insurgence USA maintains that he embedded himself among the pro-Trump mob to record the January breach of the Capitol building.
However, an FBI special agent noted in a sworn affidavit that Sullivan even admitted that he has no press credentials. As a result, the investigation failed to yield “any connection between Sullivan and any journalistic organizations.”
There are recorded examples of Sullivan agitating the crowd. When individuals climbed the wall to reach the plaza just outside the Capitol building’s entrance, Sullivan can be heard shouting,
“You guys are f—ing savage. Let’s go!”
“We did this together. F— yeah! We are all a part of this history,” Sullivan stated in video evidence cited by the prosecutors. “Let’s burn this shit down.”
At the afternoon hearing related to the defendant’s release conditions, Judge Robin Meriweather split the difference between prosecutors seeking to eliminate Sullivan’s social media presence and the defense lawyer who positioned the restrictions an “oppressive, overbroad” assault on his client’s constitutional rights.
“I am rejecting the broader prohibition on Twitter and Facebook and encrypted social media platforms,” Meriweather said, also ordering that Sullivan be taken off of 24-hour location monitoring via GPS.
Sullivan will reportedly have his internet use monitored by probation officials since he remains under home detention awaiting trial.
After Sullivan was charged, he was released from jail on house arrest under specific conditions despite objections. The prosecution warned during the previous virtual hearing that Sullivan “thrives on chaos,” stating that he “uses messaging apps to set up meetings and set up riots.”
Federal prosecutor Bryan Reeves pointed at Sullivan’s protest-drawn provocateur persona. “He will pose as different members of organizations, even those that have disavowed him” just to stir trouble, he alleged. Sullivan also had plans to return to Washington for Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, Reeves emphasized.
Sullivan was arrested and charged earlier in July 2020 during an Antifa-Black Lives Matter riot where drivers in Provo were threatened and one was shot.
BLM’s Utah chapter leader Lex Scott insisted to Fox News that the organization does “not want to be associated” with Sullivan.