‘He wasn’t the same guy’: Brother of Utah Jan. 6 protestor reflects on federal charges

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – One year ago today, James Sullivan watched — along with the nation, and the world — as protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol.

But James was also watching his brother on national television. John Sullivan would later be charged in federal court for his involvement that day, along with seven other Utahns who were arrested in the riot’s aftermath.

“He had changed fundamentally as a person being impacted by political ideology,” said James Sullivan.

“A man who didn’t have hate toward anybody in his heart turned into one of the most hateful people that I know,” added James.

James says he was raised to love God, his family and his country. But on Jan. 6, he says, he watched his brother — and his party — displaying a radical shift.

“The hardest part was watching the conservative base, people that had been my friends, radicalize,” said James Sullivan.

James says he and his brother don’t speak anymore and that he plans to testify against him in court.

“He was telling people to assault officers, he was trying to tell people to push down the door,” said James.

“I saw my brother and I saw his mind going away. Like I didn’t know who he was anymore. He wasn’t the same guy,” added James.

James says he won’t give up on his beliefs, and he hopes that others will reflect on the deadly Capitol riot and the future of the Republican Party.

“We need to learn from that moment and go back to what made us great,” said James.

“That’s believing and supporting God, supporting and worshiping our God and not Trump,” he added.

“Supporting families, supporting our country, supporting freedom of speech — even the speech we don’t agree with,” said James.

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