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Utahn charged in U.S. Capitol riot could go back to jail for allegedly violating release conditions

John Sullivan, 26, of Sandy, was charged Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with being on restricted property, civil disorder and violent entry or disorderly conduct in connection with riots at the U.S. Capitol.
John Sullivan, 26, of Sandy, was charged Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with being on restricted property, civil disorder and violent entry or disorderly conduct in connection with riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Tooele County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man released from jail after being charged with participating in a pro-Trump rally that turned into a violent attack at the U.S. Capitol could end up behind bars again.

A federal probation officer filed a petition in U.S. District Court on Wednesday alleging John Earle Sullivan violated conditions of his release from jail pending trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Daphne Oberg has issued a summons for Sullivan to appear at a revocation hearing on Feb. 23.

Oberg released Sullivan from jail after a hearing last week with a long list of conditions, warning him that any violation would “not be taken lightly.”

The petition lists four dates on which Sullivan allegedly failed to comply with the terms of his release, specifically regarding internet use.

“Evidence in support of this allegation is contained in the reports of the Pretrial Services Office,” according the petition. The reports, however, are not included in the court file.

Among the conditions Oberg imposed on Sullivan is one limiting his access to the internet.

The judge also ordered Sullivan to participate in a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office computer and internet monitoring program. All of his computers, internet accessible devices, media storage devices and digital media are subject to searches and the installation of monitoring software or hardware.

Sullivan, 26, founded Insurgence USA, a social justice group that calls itself anti-fascist and protests police brutality. Much of his work was done online.

Sullivan, who is required to wear a location monitor as a condition of his release, was arrested Jan. 14 in Tooele County and charged with being on restricted property, civil disorder and violent entry or disorderly conduct. The case will be tried in Washington, D.C.

According to charging documents, Sullivan attended a rally in Washington on Jan. 6 held by supporters of President Donald Trump outside the Capitol. The group “expressly stated that their purpose was to stop or disrupt” the certification of the Electoral College vote of the 2020 presidential election, the charges say.

Furthermore, federal investigators say that Sullivan could be frequently heard encouraging the crowd inside the Capitol.

The charges state that Sullivan can be seen in a video posted on YouTube “telling a crowd, over a microphone, ‘We about to burn this (expletive) down,’ and ‘We ain’t waiting until the next election ... we about to go get that (expletive).’ Sullivan then can be seen leading the crowd in a chant of, ‘It’s time for a revolution.’”

Sullivan has said he was only there to document the event. But even though he “claimed to be an activist and journalist that filmed protests and riots,” he also admitted “that he has no press credentials and the investigation has not revealed any connection between Sullivan and any journalistic organizations,” according to charging documents.