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Jury Convicts Man Who Claims He Filmed The Jan. 6 Riot As A 'Citizen Journalist'

John Earle Sullivan, accused by conservatives of being an ‘antifa’ insurgent, said he was just trying to blend in when he recorded videos of his journey through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, The Washington Post reports. Sullivan captured himself shouting at rioters to seize the American seat of power, breaking a window inside a Senate office, and then filming the fatal shooting of rioter Ashli Babbitt outside the House chamber. Sullivan was also captured helping a rioter scale a wall to reach the upper West Terrace of the Capitol, wielding a switchblade knife near the House chamber, and later musing about the Babbitt video. “Everybody’s gonna want this,” Sullivan said excitedly, according to court documents. “Nobody has it. I’m selling it, I could make millions of dollars.” Court records show that Sullivan was paid more than $90,000 for the rights to the video. Sullivan claimed that he was simply working as a citizen journalist to document history, and all of his words and deeds indicating he was sympathetic to President Donald Trump were just a ruse to blend in with the rioters. “It’s my job to document and record history,” Sullivan testified. He said his cheers of approval for the rioters and offers to help them were merely to “say a lot of things to try and protect myself” from people he feared might turn on him if they knew his true political colors. On Thursday, after deliberating for less than four hours, the jury convicted Sullivan of obstructing the electoral vote count, civil disorder, and five misdemeanors. Senior U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered him held in jail until sentencing.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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