Insurgence, USA: Did CNN & NBC Finance the Storming of the Capitol?

Insurgence, USA: Did CNN & NBC Finance the Storming of the Capitol?

February 17, 2021 – In the wake of the media hysteria and histrionics about the so-called “storming” of the U.S. Capitol, we are learning some very interesting information about who benefited from this event and who perhaps funded it. I do not trust the media accounts of what occurred and with good reason. Unlike their fawning coverage of months of rioting, arson and looting from BLM, the media immediately sought to portray the event as some kind of coup attempt.

Anyone who watched livestreams from that day before social media and big tech erased those links, say that this was obviously a mostly spontaneous event. There may have been a small group of people who planned in advance to do something nefarious but most people did not. There were folks being pushed forward and upward by the throngs of people behind them. Capitol Police appeared to be beckoning the crowd forward at certain times, which to some people could easily have been misconstrued as permission or an invitation into the building.

Clearly there were some agitators who were arousing the crowd to anger and hyping them up. I saw clips of these folks with bullhorns yelling to “take this b*tch” and saying “this is our house, let’s remind these politicians who they work for.” These people led the charge forward and into the U.S. Capitol, and I believe identifying them and their motives is key to figuring out what really happened on January 6th, 2021.

Interestingly on the 6th, there were people who looked remarkably like Far Left black clad rioters, who brought the same riot shields they use, and the same kinds of weaponry for attempting to breach buildings. It was Antifa who spent months attacking ICE facilities and federal buildings, throwing Molotov cocktails, bricks and using military grade lasers to permanently blind law enforcement, not Trump supporters.

It was Antifa who had taken over blocks of areas which included police stations, and turned them into their own “autonomous zones.” It was Antifa who had spend months participating in sieges on state and federal property and buildings. Trump rallies never displayed this kind of violent activity. They never displayed any organized insurgent like behavior. It was always Antifa and BLM activists who participated in this sort of so-called “revolutionary” activity and trained militia like groups for precisely that kind of events.

One activist who has been seen at these kinds of BLM events, John Sullivan who worked with an organization called Insurgence, USA stands out. Sullivan was seen behind Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit, encouraging her to try to climb up into a door window right before she was shot. He was filmed outside the Capitol helping push people up over the wall. He was filmed inside the Capitol, telling people what to do, and at one point describing how to make an improvised explosive device.

According to the New York Post:

Accused Capitol rioter John Sullivan sold video footage he recorded at the Jan. 6 siege to NBC and CNN for $35,000 each, according to new court papers.

The news came as prosecutors on Tuesday tried to ban the Utah provocateur — a self-styled anti-Trump activist who they allege infiltrates protests to cause chaos and record video footage — from accessing social media, according to Politico.

Sullivan maintains that he is a journalist for his website Insurgence USA — and his defense attorney filed invoices for the $35,000 NBC News and CNN each apparently paid each for rights to use the videos.

But the feds allege in a criminal complaint that Sullivan was actively participating in and encouraging the siege.

As throngs of President Donald Trump supporters stormed the building, Sullivan helped one of the rioters scale a wall leading up to an entrance of the Capitol, an affidavit alleges.

He then entered the Capitol dome through a window that had been smashed by a rioter.

As he recorded footage inside the building, Sullivan allegedly said, ‘we gotta get this s—t burned.’

‘It’s our house motherf—kers. We are getting this shit,’ he added.

Still recording, Sullivan moved with the crowd to outside the Speaker’s lobby, where rioters faced off with police officers who were securing a doorway. – NYP

The question that first must be asked is, was Sullivan paid to infiltrate and not just to film “chaos” but to orchestrate it? The media right away labeled the events of the January 6th as an “insurgency” and “insurrection.” It is striking that Sullivan, a main instigator of what happened, worked for an organization Insurgence, USA. Is this group seeking to run an insurgency against the USA?

One wonders if the FBI will raid the corporate offices of CNN and NBC. Interestingly, Sullivan also received $5,000 from a company called Left/Right Productions and $2,500 from ABC Australia. What is Left/Right Productions? Was the event at the capital a stage managed production?

Eric Lendrum of American Greatness reports in an article entitled Mainstream Media Networks Paid BLM Activist $35,000 for Footage of Capital Shooting:

The mainstream media networks CNN and NBC paid $35,000 to a Black Lives Matter activist for his footage of the fatal shooting of a Trump supporter during the Capitol protests on January 6th, as reported by the Daily Caller.

John Sullivan, a 26-year-old from Utah, is currently facing criminal charges for his role in the mostly peaceful protests at the Capitol that day. Sullivan, who has a well-documented history of being actively involved in multiple Black Lives Matter riots last year, was among the protesters who entered the Capitol building during the tabulating of the 2020 electoral college votes.

During the protest, Sullivan captured close-up footage of the moment that Ashli Babbit, a 14-year Air Force veteran from California and a supporter of President Donald Trump, was shot through the neck by a plainclothes police officer at close range, bleeding out and dying in the halls of Congress. Hers was the only death that day confirmed to have been a murder, as opposed to the several others who died that day due to sudden medical situations that had nothing to do with the protests.

Although Sullivan has claimed that he was present purely for the purposes of documenting the event, he has been charged in a federal court with illegally entering the Capitol, civil disorder, and violent or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Sullivan’s payment by the media companies was disclosed by his legal team, with defense attorney Steven Kiersh saying that his ‘defendant is legitimately self-employed as a documentarian,’ and claiming that ‘it is oppressive to require that he not be allowed to continue his primary area of employment for an extended period of time.’ In addition to the larger payments from CNN and NBC, Sullivan was also paid $2,500 by Australia’s ABC network, and $5,000 from a production company called Left/Right Productions. – American Greatness

Activists seem to have figured out that they can use the claim of “journalism” as a cover for their revolutionary activity. Sullivan appears to have been attempting to get others to burn down the Capital building, shouting things like “we gotta burn this b*tch down” while assuring others that it would be okay and that he “does this kind of thing all the time.”

Meaww published an article on this as well:

Court documents filed by left-wing filmmaker John Sullivan’s attorneys have claimed that CNN and NBC each paid  $35,000 for his footage of the violence during the Capitol riot that took place on January 6, according to the latest reports.

Sullivan’s defense attorney filed invoices with the court that proved CNN and NBC each paying Sullivan’s firm $35,000 last month for the video rights to the video he filmed during the riots. 

According to the report, a federal magistrate judge allowed Sullivan to keep Twitter and Facebook accounts, ‘but ordered him to end his involvement with a business he founded that the Justice Department says promotes and glorifies violent protests.’

However, prosecutors contend that Sullivan actively participated in the riot. His own videos provide evidence of that as the footage includes him wedding people on, encouraging violence and yelling, ‘we did this together’ and ‘let’s burn this s**t down’. Apart from that, reports also add that he is seen telling viewers how to make Molotov cocktails and evade identification by police.

He was arrested and charged last month on charges for his involvement in the riot, including interfering with police during a civil disorder. At a hearing on Tuesday, February 16, afternoon on Sullivan’s release conditions, Washington-based Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather said, ‘I am rejecting the broader prohibition on Twitter and Facebook and encrypted social media platforms,’ also ordering that the Utah man be taken off of 24-hour location monitoring via GPS.

At the same time, he said that Sullivan ‘is to no longer work for Insurgence USA,’ will have his internet use monitored by probation officials and will be banned from using any social media platforms to incite riots, violent protests armed conflict or violence. Sullivan is reportedly also under home detention.

Sullivan, who describes himself as a video journalist ‘documenting the front lines of protest happening around the world’, founded Insurgence USA during the George Floyd riots last year. An online fundraiser says the group wants to build local power to enable the community to ‘intervene in violence enacted by the state and government vigilantes’.

He had become a controversial figure around the riots as he described himself as an opponent of Trump supporting Black Lives Matter, but BLM activists in Utah have reportedly disowned him. 

After waiting for two weeks, Twitter banned Sullivan’s account. But the update about news channels paying for his footage has angered social media users with many calling out his Antifa connections. ‘CNN & NBC paid an ‘insurrectionist’ John Earl Sullivan $35,000 A PIECE for video footage of the Capitol insurrection. Sullivan just so happened to be the leader of an Antifa & BLM group ‘Insurgence USA’ at the Capitol. What makes the media friendly to this ‘insurrectionist?’ one questioned.

But some still pointed to clarify, that it is ‘important to distinguish that he was paid for use of his videos, afterward, not that he was paid to be there or stir shit up.’ One user pointed out how it doesn’t come as shocking since CNN’s Anderson Cooper had interviewed Sullivan after the protests. ‘I just can’t believe it,’ they sarcastically said while sharing a screengrab of the interview. – Meaww

Now, I want to point out what I think should be an obvious point here: just because he was paid for his footage after the event, does NOT mean that it wasn’t planned and/or coordinated beforehand. We have no real way of knowing right now whether or not he talked to media companies prior to the event.

New Yorker Magazine

Surprisingly, Andrew Marantz of New Yorker Magazine wrote an article about Sullivan, and his role as an agitator using “journalism” as a cover or excuse for his radical activism:

John Sullivan, also known as Jayden X, calls himself an activist, a reporter, or an entrepreneur, depending on who’s asking. When I first reached him by phone, he told me that he was ‘a video journalist, or maybe a documentarian, or whatever you would say—going out there and just live-streaming the events that are transpiring, so that people can see it on the Internet.’ He lives near Salt Lake City, but, until recently, he spent most of his time on the road, looking for the next riot: Portland, Seattle, New York. He has tried to associate himself with the Black Lives Matter movement, but many organizers have disavowed him; others have gone further, accusing him of being an ‘agent provocateur,’ a ‘con artist,’ or a ‘thrill-seeking instigator.’ ‘Riots are meant to bring change, so purge the world with fire,’ he tweeted in December. But he has not always been clear about what kind of change he has in mind. ‘I’m not Antifa,’ he told me recently, although he went out of his way to mention that he often wears all black to protests, as many antifascists do. ‘And I’m not with the Trump supporters,’ he continued, although he was among the Trump supporters when a mob of them assaulted the Capitol, on January 6th. Using a Samsung phone mounted on a gimbal, he captured about ninety minutes of raw video—a chilling, near-comprehensive record of the siege. (Reviewing some of the footage, in Artforum, the film critic J. Hoberman called it ‘cinema as forensic evidence.’) Sullivan has since uploaded his footage to YouTube and provided it to law enforcement; he has also repeatedly tried, and largely failed, to explain what he was doing there in the first place.

Sullivan is twenty-six, lean and sharp-featured, and he moves with the lithe precision of a former athlete. He has three younger brothers: James, Peter, and Matthew. ‘We’re all Black, adopted, and our parents are white,’ John told me. ‘We were raised in a sheltered household and taught to view the world as colorless. Then you grow up and suddenly realize, No, actually, I’m Black, and a lot of the people I grew up around were racist as fuck.’ He told me that his father, John Sullivan, Sr., is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who now works in the freight-shipping industry, and that his mother, Lisa, is a homemaker. They are conservative—’more conservative than Trump,’ Peter told me—and are devout Mormons, although their three eldest sons no longer practice the religion. Growing up, John, Jr., was a nationally ranked speed skater, but he quit in 2018. (On one of his Web sites, he claims that he ‘competed in the 2018 Olympic Games’; in fact, he only got as far as the Olympic trials.) In 2016, he starred in a slickly produced Uber ad, the conceit of which was that athletes who train at odd hours might want to work part time in the gig economy. A director’s cut ends with a shot of Sullivan skating to an abrupt stop, followed by the tagline ‘Find your hustle.’

After graduating from high school, Sullivan said, he thought about joining the Army Reserve, and applied to be a police officer in a Salt Lake City suburb. He ended up working in corporate sales instead. Last year, feeling isolated and restless during the pandemic, he decided to start his own business. George Floyd had just been killed, and Sullivan’s social-media feeds filled with rousing images from street protests against police brutality. He went to a local Black Lives Matter protest, wearing a GoPro on his motorcycle helmet, and uploaded his footage to YouTube. After that, he established an L.L.C., called Insurgence USA. Later, on the Web site ActivistJohn.com, he posted a photo of himself raising a clenched fist, with the National Mall in the background, next to the words ‘John Sullivan is bringing the revolution.’ He solicited donations on Patreon and PayPal, offered his services as a motivational speaker, and sold merchandise: black tactical gloves; protective goggles; red baseball caps that looked like Make America Great Again hats, but actually read ‘Made Ya Look / Black Lives Matter.’ He started filling his YouTube channel with footage from street clashes, employing a gonzo-guerrilla aesthetic: balaclavas, billowing clouds of tear gas. ‘I put my body on the line to bring people the best documentation of history,’ Sullivan said. ‘That’s my thing: When shit’s going down, you follow me and I show you exactly what it’s like.’

Last June, early in his new career as an activism entrepreneur, Sullivan attended a protest near a police station in Provo, Utah. A pro-police group had organized a ‘Back the Blue’ rally; another group planned an anti-police-brutality demonstration around the same time. (Sullivan’s Insurgence USA organization reportedly promoted the latter event on social media.) The vast majority of Black Lives Matter protests last summer were peaceful—more than ninety-five per cent, by some estimates—but, at this one, clashes broke out. According to criminal affidavits later filed in state court, one of Sullivan’s fellow-protesters shot a man who was driving near the protest, and Sullivan kicked a woman’s car and threatened to beat her up. (Sullivan claimed that his confrontation started because the woman was trying to run over the protesters.) Sullivan was charged with criminal mischief and ‘riot,’ which was defined, in part, as assembling ‘with the purpose of engaging . . . in tumultuous or violent conduct.’ Sullivan argued that he had simply attended the event as a journalist—not a credentialled and impartial journalist, perhaps, but a journalist nonetheless.

More than once, his brother Peter, who describes himself as ‘politically moderate,’ asked John why he was drawn to potentially violent street actions. ‘He would talk about his business, how he wanted to be the best video journalist, and that meant taking risks,’ Peter recalled. ‘He would also tell me, ‘You don’t understand, it’s such a surreal experience.’ In addition to the journalism element, I think that rush is something that he really craves.’

John Sullivan made a habit of blurring the lines between activism, advocacy journalism, and opposition research. He tried to stay abreast of where the next big protest or riot was likely to break out, monitoring activist group chats on Signal and Telegram. ‘I was able to collaborate with the left in their community to gather information,’ Sullivan wrote in an unpublished draft of a memoir. ‘But I also can connect with the right and successfully be in their presence without them being combative towards me.’ When he was surrounded by left-wing activists or right-wing activists, he sometimes gave the impression of being one of them; at other times, he implied that he was working undercover to expose one side or the other. In his recent conversations with me, he emphasized his neutrality. ‘I want to make sure my First Amendment rights as a journalist are not being forgotten,’ he told me. – New Yorker Magazine

I encourage you to read the rest of the New Yorker piece by Mr. Marantz. He explores little known and hardly reported details about Sullivan and his background. He spoke to BLM activists who claim that Sullivan was an agent provocateur, showing up to events and trying to cause chaos that he could then grift off of by selling footage. This is important because if people can do this and earn money doing it, there are likely a lot more folks out there at political events seeking to instigate violence for clicks and funds. I do not hear the media saying “there were tons of Trump rallies and events over the last few years that were mostly peaceful,” in the same way they do for BLM events. I also find it interesting that John Sullivan comes from an Army family. We see the same thing with the people who instigated the “summer of love” and hippie movement of the 1960s.

In any case, the media profited in ratings and revenue from Trump outrage, real or staged. Likewise, the media stood to lose both with Trump leaving the White House. Perhaps they had their own reasons, similar to those of John Sullivan for wanting chaos and violence at Trump’s last public event.

It is high time we recognize as a country that the media is not above the law. That someone is a journalist or that  an organization is huge does not afford immunity to either. Nor does it mean the media would not stoop to financing trouble at events and then profit from it.

I think it is time for the FBI to raid and investigate the mainstream media, like they have done to regular powerless citizens. If the events on January 6th were planned in advance, it very well could have originated with activist journalists seeking to discredit Trump supporters and make a buck at the same time.

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