KSL INVESTIGATES

Federal Judge Orders House Arrest For Utah Activist

Jan 15, 2021, 8:48 PM | Updated: 9:26 pm

TOOELE, Utah – John Earle Sullivan, 26, faced a judge for the first time after his arrest and subsequent federal charges in connection to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The hearing was scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday over Zoom. Recording of the proceedings was prohibited.

Attorneys for the government said they intend to prosecute the case in the District of Columbia.

According to his defense attorneys, the self-proclaimed activist surrendered himself to the FBI with an attorney present. Sullivan was booked into the Tooele County Jail Thursday afternoon on federal charges that include violent entry in a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

John Earle Sullivan, 26. (Tooele County Jail)

The judge Friday stated the government did not meet the requirements to keep Sullivan detained and failed to prove that he poses a “serious risk” of obstruction of justice or intimidation. The government now has time to come back with substantial evidence to hold him during a possible detention hearing.

Friday’s hearing did not conclude until after 5:30 p.m. after business hours. This, combined with Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, means Sullivan will remain in jail until Tuesday when his house arrest can be processed.

As part of Sullivan’s pretrial release, he must follow a list of conditions set by the judge. They include, among others:

  • Sullivan can no longer work for Insurgence USA – the group he started that defines itself as “anti-fascist.”
  • Sullivan is prohibited from having access to any kind of weapon – including firearms.
  • Sullivan must undergo a mental health evaluation and take any prescriptions that may be ordered at that time.
  • Sullivan cannot travel anywhere without permission, including Washington, D.C.

In court, Sullivan’s attorneys said his father has removed firearms from the home.

Sullivan is known to protest while armed with a long gun.

The judge also ordered Sullivan to stay off of social media as part of a computer/internet monitoring requirement.

Sullivan has retained two attorneys to represent him. Although he must appear via Zoom for a hearing in D.C. on Jan. 22, it’s not clear if/when he will be extradited there to appear in person.


RELATED: Utah Activist Says Woman Killed Was First To Attempt Entrance In House Chamber


A lengthy and detailed criminal complaint said Sullivan entered the Capitol through a broken window. He was recording video as he walked through the Capitol with the mob.

The complaint said, “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.”

Sullivan posted his video online and gave it to the FBI. Among other things, the end of his 39-minute video captures the final moments of protester Ashli Babbit’s life.

“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 said.

KSL interviewed Sullivan last week.

The video also showed Sullivan at times yelling inflammatory statements and at other times he can be heard trying to calm down people.

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Federal Judge Orders House Arrest For Utah Activist