WASHINGTON — A federal judge refused to ban Utah's John Sullivan from Facebook and Twitter following his involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot.
Politico reports prosecutors sought to block Sullivan from using the social media platforms because they claim he uses them as a means to incite violence. Sullivan has said he participated in the riots as a journalist to document what was happening in the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Sullivan was also taken off 24-hour GPS monitoring restrictions, although he will remain under home detention.
Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather did side with prosecutors by prohibiting Sullivan from continuing to work with his Insurgence USA website. Sullivan's internet usage will be monitored while he is in home detention after he was arrested on charges of obstruction of Congress and interfering with police.
In an attempt to prove Sullivan's claim that he solely works as a journalist, his defense lawyer provided invoices to show that he had been paid a total of $70,000 by CNN and NBC for video he shot inside the Capitol.
“The social media limits are incredibly oppressive, incredibly overbroad and serve no purpose other than to basically oppress Mr. Sullivan,” said Sullivan's attorney, Steven Kiersh. “Mr. Sullivan is very involved in exchanging of ideas amongst his peers, and this is how he does it.”
Arrest documents say Sullivan was seen outside the Capitol building using a microphone telling the crowd “we about to burn this s___ down,” “we got to rip Trump out of office... f_______ pull him out of that shit... we ain’t waiting until the next election... we about to go get that m__________.”
While in the Capitol, Sullivan was wearing a ballistics vest and gas mask.
"I was there to record," said Sullivan in a video posted days after the protests. "I was there to let people see that situation in the best possible way."