US seizes $90,000 from man who sold footage of Capitol riot

Capitol Riots

FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. New details from the deadly riot of Jan. 6 are contained in a previously undisclosed document prepared by the Pentagon for internal use that was obtained by the Associated Press and vetted by current and former government officials. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. authorities have confiscated roughly $90,000 from a Utah man who sold footage of a woman being fatally shot during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, according to court filings.

Prosecutors also have filed additional criminal charges against the man, John Earle Sullivan, a self-described political activist who is accused of entering the Capitol building and participating in the riot, the filings unsealed on Thursday showed.

Sullivan now faces a total of eight criminal counts, including weapons charges, related to the riot. Sullivan’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors have charged more than 440 people in connection with the attack in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after he gave a speech to them repeating his claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud. The mob smashed windows, fought police and sent lawmakers into hiding. Five people died.

Many participants, including Sullivan, posted their actions on social media.

According to the court filings, Sullivan portrayed himself as an independent journalist who was reporting on the chaos, but actually encouraged other participants to “burn” the building and engage in violence.

Sullivan recorded video of the confrontation between rioters and police just outside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber that included the shooting of protester Ashli Babbitt and, according to court filings, boasted to an unnamed witness that “my footage is worth like a million of dollars, millions of dollars.”

Sullivan sold that footage to several news outlets for a total of $90,000, according to a seizure warrant. The news outlets were redacted from the warrant.

According to media reports, Sullivan participated in Black Lives Matter protests last year. Other Black Lives Matter activists in his home state have disavowed him.

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