“U.S. authorities” have seized approximately $90,000 from Utah man, John Earle Sullivan, who filmed Ashli Babbitt’s death inside the United States Capitol on January 6th, per Reuters.
Babbitt and several others were allegedly attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby after breaching U.S. Capitol security when she was shot by a Capitol Police officer. Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, later died of her wounds. Last month, federal prosecutors “determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove Babbitt’s civil rights were violated and that it was reasonable for the officer to believe he was firing in self-defense or in defense of members of Congress and aides who were fleeing the House chamber,” according to The Washington Post.
Sullivan, however, is facing eight charges associated with the riots at the United States Capitol, and prosecutors have seized the money he made selling graphic footage of the incident that led to Babbitt’s death to several news organizations.
“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,” Reuters reported Sunday. According to Newsweek, Sullivan did not have any current media credentials, though he claimed in other videos, posted from the U.S. Capitol that day, that “was not there to be a participant. I was there to record.”
“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,'” the outlet continued.
Filings show the footage was worth approximately $90,000 to several news outlets, including The Washington Post and NBC News.
“Multiple cellphone videos captured the shooting as it unfolded on the afternoon of Jan. 6. Babbitt and a group of other rioters made their way inside the Capitol to barricaded doors leading to the Speaker’s Lobby, which is the hallway outside the House chamber where some lawmakers were sheltering during the siege,'” The Washington Post reported at the time, though it did not cite Sullivan’s video specifically. Videos show the group pummeling the wood-and-glass doors with a helmet, feet, and a flagpole. A Capitol Police officer in a suit and a surgical mask is seen standing in a doorway on the far side of the doors with his gun drawn”
“The officer opened fire as Babbitt, who was wearing a Trump flag like a cape, attempted to crawl through one of the broken panes of the Speaker’s Lobby doors, video shows. Babbitt, who was hit in the shoulder, tumbled backward onto the floor,” the Post added.
Reuters noted Sunday that the number of people charged for participating in the January 6th riots is now up to 440, and the government is still seeking information on several individuals they believe took part in the riot.