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Leftist activist John Sullivan speaks with a reporter from Infowars immediately after the shooting of Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., Jan. 6, screen grab

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January 14, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Mainstream media along with top Democratic politicians are largely exploiting the Jan. 6 chaos that took place in the Capitol building to falsely paint all Trump supporters as “domestic terrorists” who need to be cracked down on. Other sources of information, however, show evidence that strongly suggests that left-wing activists were part of the crowd that entered the Capitol building, bringing with them their own agenda of urging the crowd to engage in unlawful acts of violence and destruction for their own political reasons.

Even with hours of raw video footage and multiple accounts of what took place, it is still difficult to get to the truth of what actually took place on that day and who is responsible for it. There is everything from video evidence of law enforcement opening gates to let people through to video evidence of rioters clashing violently with law enforcement. See examples of raw footage leading up to Babbitt’s death here from Infowars and here from Youtube’s Jayden X (John Sullivan).

One recent story that I was assigned to cover proves how difficult it is to know what happened and what motivated individual people to act. My assignment was to cover an interview of an “independent Japanese journalist” by The Epoch Times who claims that extended video footage from various cameras that captured the shooting of Ashli Babbitt by a U.S. Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6 in the Capitol building shows that a leftist agitator near the woman immediately attempted to exploit the shooting to radicalize Trump supporters against law enforcement officers.

Masako Ganaha, who runs a popular Japanese Youtube channel, related to Epoch Times’ Joshua Philipp in a Jan. 12 Crossroads episode that one of the men who was filming at the time when Babbitt was fatally shot — as she tried to climb through a broken window of the barricaded doors of the Speakers Lobby to get to the House chamber — was, according to Ganaha, a member of “Antifa.”

Ganaha makes the following claims:

1. The man who broke the window by bashing it with a helmet was a non-Trump supporter agitator who was “leading the crowd.” He retreated down some stairs where he “changed his appearance” so that he could “manage to stay there without getting caught” or without people “noticing” that it was him who broke the window.

2. A black man (John Sullivan) who filmed the shooting of Babbitt was “identified” as “one of the Antifa” (anti-fascist) by Andy Ngô, editor-at-large at The Post Millennial.

3. The black man (Sullivan) tried to make Trump supporters “upset with police” by repeatedly saying that the woman is dead, using a Marxist tactic of “agitation” to get people to turn against each other, in this case, to get the Trump supporters to turn against law enforcement.

4. “The ones who were leading the crowd (man who smashed window with helmet and Sullivan who kept on crying out the woman was shot and dead), or agitating the crowd, were not Trump supporters. I think they had a plan and they played well.”

In my investigations for this report, although I found some discrepancies with Ganaha’s account, I also found evidence that backs up her main claim that a leftist leader was urging Trump supporters to clash with police. I will address her claims in the order they appeared above.

1. While it is true that the man who broke the window with a helmet retreated down some stairs after Babbitt was shot and appeared to be stowing gear in his backpack, there is no video evidence that he was trying to change his appearance. And even if he was trying to change his appearance so he would not get caught, it did not stop the FBI from noticing him and putting out a public call for help in identifying him.

2. The black man who filmed the shooting of Babbitt was not “identified” by Andy Ngô as “one of the Antifa.” Ngô identified the man as John Earle Sullivan, “an extreme BLM activist from Utah,” in a Jan. 7 tweet. Sullivan is the founder of Insurgence USA, a leftist activist group that was “started in 2020 in response to the George Floyd tragedy” and that seeks to “end police brutality.” He gave a speech in the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza in downtown Washington D.C. last August where he called for violent “revolution” that included a call to “burn sh*t down.” During that speech, Sullivan also made clear his dislike of Trump and how he wanted the President ripped out of office. He called his listeners to “f*cking rip Trump out of that office right over there, f*cking pull him out of that sh*t,” pointing to the White House.

3. Sullivan makes the case (here on Youtube and here on Fox News) that he flew from Utah to attend the Save America Rally in Washington to document a possible storming of the Capitol building with his camera (watch his raw footage here). He said that he knew from unnamed sources that there was “speculation” about people storming the Capitol. “I knew of the situations that were going to transpire,” he said.

While Sullivan was filming, however, his camera captures him not being an impartial observer, but a crowd agitator who was trying to get the crowd to react to law enforcement on account of Babbitt’s death (watch his interactions with the crowd here). “She’s dead,” he can be heard repeatedly saying. “I’ve been saying, they murder us like that … You all about to shoot everybody? You all are going to shoot everybody,” he shouts out at one point.

“You did that,” Sullivan shouts five times at law enforcement as they try to push people back from the shot woman. When someone points out that the shots came from the House chamber and not from the law enforcement currently helping the woman, Sullivan shouts “they’re all together, they’re all the same people.” At another point he shouts, “Dude, you guys are going to shoot everybody? They are going to shoot every person that comes through here.”

I agree with Ganaha that Sullivan at this point is trying to manipulate the crowd to turn against the police.

4. The question remains if Sullivan acted simply as an individual or was, in the words of Epoch Times, part of a “coordinated action among the agitators.” We know that Sullivan was not a Trump supporter. We know he is the founder of a leftist organization who has called for violent solutions to political problems. His own words in the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Babbitt make him not simply a recorder of history, but an active participant in that history who, I believe, was attempting by his words to urge Trump supporters to violently engage with law enforcement on account of Babbitt’s death.

I see two possible motives for Sullivan attempting to manipulate the crowd through his words. One is that he was being a leftist agitator who was attempting to urge Trump supporters to engage in violent and destructive action so as to overthrow the political system. Two, he was trying to provoke a situation that he would capture on video that would make him famous as the one who documented Trump supporters attacking police and overrunning the Capitol building. It is interesting to point out in this regard that while Sullivan was filming, he was also being filmed by a collaborator, Jade Sacker, who was making a documentary of him. This certainly makes Sullivan not an impartial observer, but a protagonist at the event. “Is this not going to be the best film you’ve ever made in your life?” Sullivan asks the film-maker at one point while they are in the Capitol building.

On Jan. 7, Police detained Sullivan in Washington D.C. for questioning, but then let him go.

Ganaha makes an interesting point in relation to Sullivan, along with Sacker, appearing on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show the same day that Babbitt got shot. She said that it’s a common tactic of Marxist-inspired agitators, especially in her country, to use the “tactic of agitation” to achieve a goal and then to “witness” about it on mainstream media with the intention of carrying the narrative even further.

“One of the people who agitated will become the witness and appears on mainstream media and then mainstream media tells without analyzing, they just tell what they (the agitators) say so the world does not know the truth,” she said.

During the CNN interview, Sullivan presents himself as an impartial observer who witnessed law enforcement shooting an unarmed woman. “She didn’t need to die, because she didn’t have a weapon. She wasn’t being violent in any way. We just let police officers through. We weren’t trying to hurt anybody at that moment in time,” he said. Perhaps, again, this is an attempt by Sullivan to manipulate viewers to turn against law enforcement.

It is certainly right to condemn the violence and destruction, along with the loss of five lives, that took place at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Those who engaged in unlawful activity must be brought to justice. The Justice Department is already pursuing 150 suspects. It is my suspicion that many of the provocateurs, when they are caught and questioned, will turn out to be Trump-haters like Sullivan who seized on an opportunity to inject themselves into an otherwise peaceful rally and co-opt it to pursue their own political agendas. Any genuine Trump supporters, who fell for the ruse and joined in violent or destructive behavior, made a terrible mistake.

January 15, 2021 update: This report now includes that Jade Sacker was the documentary filmmaker filming John Sullivan. 

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Pete Baklinski is Director of Communications for Campaign Life Coalition, a Canadian pro-life organization working at all levels of government to secure full legal protection for all human beings, from the time of conception to natural death. He has a B.A. in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College and a masters in theology (STM) from the International Theological Institute.