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utah man faces new charges in capitol riot
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Utah man involved in US Capitol riot to face more charges

FILE: John Earle Sullivan speaks to KSL TV during a march from Washington Square to the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City in August 2020. (KSL TV)

WASHINGTON — A Utah man accused of taking part in a riot at the US Capitol last month now faces more charges for his role in the chaos. 

Federal court documents show John Sullivan, 26, of Utah, who initially faced three counts including civil disorder and disorderly conduct, now faces three new charges: obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a capitol building and demonstrating in a capitol building. 

Those charges come as a federal judge ruled Sullivan will not be detained pending trial. The Department of Justice had asked for him to be held in jail, calling him a “recurring threat.” 

Utah man faces charges after Capitol involvement

Sullivan claimed he traveled from Utah to Washington to film protests at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

According to initial court filings associated with Sullivan’s arrest, he spoke voluntarily with FBI agents the day after the riot, admitting he entered the Capitol building through a broken window. 

“Sullivan further stated that he had been present at the shooting of a woman within the U.S. Capitol by a U.S. Capitol Police officer and that he had filmed the incident,” the initial criminal complaint stated. 

At the time, Sullivan posted his video online and also shared it with the FBI. 

A self-proclaimed “journalist”

“Sullivan has claimed he was at the U.S. Capitol only to document and report. In addition, your affiant is aware that, at various times, Sullivan has claimed to be a journalist. He has admitted, however, that he has no press credentials and the investigation has not revealed any connection between Sullivan and any journalistic organizations,” the complaint continued.

In an interview with KSL TV the week of the riot, Sullivan claimed his role to be that of an observer rather than a participant. 

“For me, it’s important from the group and the people around me to see that side of things, to see the truth,” Sullivan said. “I don’t care, like what side you’re on, you should just see it raw.”

His video, however, showed Sullivan both yelling inflammatory statements at times, and at other times, trying to calm people down.

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