John Sullivan, the Utah-based Antifa member who was arrested by authorities on Thursday for his involvement in the riots at the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6., may have been part of a bigger conspiracy linked to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, according to social media users.
The origin of the conspiracy theory can be traced to a tweet posted by New York Times' Maggie Haberman of an alleged text message exchange between Giuliani and a man named James Sullivan.
Haberman tweeted a screenshot of the conversation that Giuliani accidentally shared on Twitter in a now-deleted post.The tweet instantly went viral with users pointing out that James Sullivan was none other than John Sullivan's brother.
Who are John and James Sullivan?
John is the Founder of Insurgence USA - a social injustice group that describes itself as anti-fascist. However, he was filmed egging on Trump supporters during the Capitol riots last week, which the far-right has touted as proof of Antifa's involvement in the siege.
His true motives have also been questioned by leftist activist groups online, including Rebellion Baby, which posted a tweet accusing him of being an "infiltrator/agent provocateur." and having "ties to the far-right."
John's brother, James, is a Trump diehard who founded the conservative political organization Civilized Awakening - a group that they claim has strong ties to the white supremacist group Proud Boys.
Was James Working for Giuliani?
In his texts to Giuliani, James says: "I'm currently working with the FBI to expose and place total blame on John and the 226 members of Antifa that instigated the Capitol 'riot.'"
He then notes that he was able to get his agent "out of trouble" along with other "Uthans," a word used to refer to Utah natives. "I can see what I can do with Kash," he adds, which users believe is a reference to Kash Lee Kelly, a man whose bond was revoked for his involvement in the Capitol riots.
The texts have fueled speculation that Giuliani conspired with James to pin the blame on his brother and Antifa for inciting violence at the Capitol. Giuliani even took to Twitter to highlight Sullivan's role in the riot, calling him a "suspected BLM activist."
Meanwhile, days before the insurrection, James posted an ad on Facebook to recruit black people to attend the D.C. riots, where "security has been taken care of."
"Giuliani is appropriately desperate. His fingerprints are all over the plot," wrote one user, while another commented, "I think we now have our White House connection to the terrorists who stormed the Capitol."