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Big Surprise: CNN and NBC Paid Anti-Trump Capitol Rioter Thousands for Footage

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CNN and NBC each have given $35,000 to John Sullivan, an alleged left-wing rioter who took part in the Capitol siege last month, for the rights to the video footage he got during the siege.

Invoices surfaced, which revealed this transaction during a court hearing. Sullivan was charged with inciting violence during the said riot last month. In the hearing, it was mentioned that he avoided a suspension from Facebook on Twitter. However, a judge ordered him to resign from his work as a videographer.

Sullivan claimed he is an anti-Trump activist and Black Lives Matter supporter. He described himself as a journalist who works for Insurgence USA. He said he founded the said company after George Floyd’s death. Sullivan maintained that he goes to different places in the U.S. to capture violent protests across the country.

To prove his claims, Sullivan and his defense team put forward several invoices. These showed his transactions with CNN and NBC for his footage of the Capitol riot in January.

Anti-Trump Journalist or Violent Capitol Rioter?

Despite this piece of evidence, federal prosecutors still maintained that Sullivan served as an inciter of violence. They say he only pretends to be a journalist. As per a Politico report, prosecutors claimed during proceedings that Sullivan “actively encourages violence” and that he teaches people how to create Molotov cocktails and avoid identification by law enforcement.

The prosecutors from the Department of Justice highlighted the statements Sullivan made in their complaint. In the video Sullivan had, he was heard boosting the people’s morale, encouraging them to do more violence.

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According to a press release about the arrest of Sullivan, the prosecutors also claimed that he wore a “ballistics vest and gas mask” during the riot. They added that he got into the Capitol through a broken window and was pushing past the police when he was inside the building.

Sullivan received multiple charges, including obstruction of Congress, knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted area without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct.

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