John Sullivan– who caught some of the most popular pictures of the January 6 Capitol demonstrations under his “Jayde X” social media handle– has been convicted on a variety of charges in connection with the protests.
A federal jury in Washington found the Utah-based activist guilty of all seven counts, rejecting his defense that he participated in the day’s occasions as a reporter. 3 charges were associated with a knife discovered in Sullivan’s belongings at the time of his arrest, as well as multiple trespassing-related charges for interfering with Congress.
Prior to his existence at the Capitol demonstrations, “Jayden X” documented a variety of Black Lives Matter rallies and riots in 2020. He was booted out of multiple BLM circles after being accused of being an “agent provocateur.” In reaction, Sullivan founded Insurgence USA, a protest group for “racial justice and police reform,” and began referring to himself as “activist John.” Sullivan’s Twitter feed was filled with anti-Trump rhetoric and BLM ideology prior to the occasions at the Capitol.
Sullivan later live-streamed his entry into the Capitol building on January 6. He was among the very first to go into the building and shot the infamous angle of the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbit. He later on sold the footage to media outlets for $90,000 and slammed Trump, saying he wasn’t there for him or the Stop the Steal rally.
As Sullivan rose past the barricades and went into the structure, he screamed “let’s go” and proceeded to high-five protesters. He also recorded himself helping protesters over the Capitol walls and onto the structure towards the back of the building. As soon as within, photographer and documentarian Jade Sacker can be heard saying “you were right, we did it” to Sullivan.
“Guy I was attempting to tell you I. I couldn’t state much,” he responded. “Is this not gon na be the best movie you’ve ever made in your life?”
“I was stressed over individuals recognizing me and thinking that I was Antifa or, like, BLM or whatever,” Sullivan informed Rolling Stone soon after the demonstrations. “The entire time they’re shouting, ‘F– Antifa! F–, BLM.’ I’m not saying I’m Antifa, by any methods. But I definitely think Black Lives Matter.” He eventually offered his January 6 footage to media outlets for $90,000, which was seized upon his arrest.
Sullivan had argued that he was operating as a journalist throughout the demonstrations, though the jury rejected his defense. He did opt to take the stand in his defense, stating that he wished to get in the building since he thought there would be a “violent effort” to stop the electoral certification.
The judge purchased Sullivan to be held in custody while he waits for sentencing.