More than two years after the events of January 6, 2021, Ray Epps, an enigmatic figure at the fringe of multiple theories regarding the Capitol incursion, was charged by the Department of Justice, according to a lawsuit he filed.
The claim is contained within a defamation litigation filed by Epps against Fox News. In the lawsuit, Epps holds former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson responsible for putting him in the spotlight, which ultimately led to threats from Trump supporters and charges against him.
Epps was prominently featured in multiple videos of the incursion. Epps was initially depicted on an FBI wanted notice in the days following January 6; however, he was removed from the list in July 2021. Since Epps was not charged, widespread rumors circulated that he was a federal agent stirring up the emotions of protesters.
Epps stated in an April “60 Minutes” interview that he cooperated with the FBI and told his story. He had not been accused with a crime at that time.
However, according to the lawsuit, everything soon changed.
Ray Epps, a key part of inciting January 6th, will be arrested and criminally charged. Almost 3 years after the fact? I question the timing of this.
— Pamela Hensley 🇺🇸🎥 (@PamelaHensley22) July 13, 2023
“Finally, in May 2023, the Department of Justice notified Epps that it would seek to charge him criminally for events on Jan. 6, 2021 — two-and-a-half years later. The relentless attacks by Fox and Mr. Carlson and the resulting political pressure likely resulted in the criminal charges,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit did not specify the amount of these fees. As of Thursday, Epps had not been charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., in connection with the incursion.
“Although it is difficult to believe that the Department of Justice would have pursued this matter if Fox had not focused its lies on Epps, ultimately the criminal charges conclusively demonstrate the falsehood of the story that Mr. Carlson and Fox told about Epps,” the lawsuit said.
“Epps was not a federal agent. He was a loyal Fox viewer and Trump supporter. Had the Department of Justice charged Epps in 2021, Mr. Carlson would have hailed Epps a hero. Instead, Fox and Mr. Carlson made Epps the central figure in a lie they concocted about Jan. 6, 2021. After destroying Epps’s reputation and livelihood, Fox will move on to its next story, while Ray and Robyn live in a 350-square foot RV and face harassment and fear true harm. Fox must be held accountable,” the lawsuit said.
RAY EPPS is being CRIMINALLY CHARGED by the DOJ?
Took long enough. pic.twitter.com/7QPyhF06KW
— Dr. Truth (@Tony11Sim) July 13, 2023
According to the Arizona Republic, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he was unaware that Epps was a “secret government agent.”
“I will say this notion that somehow the violence at the Capitol on January 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources and agents is ludicrous,” he said.
🚨 #BREAKING: Ray Epps, a key inciter of the January 6th riots, will be be arrested & criminally charged for his actions that day, according to his attorney.
Despite videos of Epps being on video multiple times on Jan 5 and Jan 6 actively encouraging people to storm the… pic.twitter.com/SB5lxSccu7
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) July 13, 2023
According to the Daily Wire, Republican Representative Troy Nehls of Texas also brought up Epps when questioning Wray.
Nehls observed that there was little distinction between the actions of Epps and those of other arrested individuals.
“Now look into the camera, sir, when you answer my next question,” Nehls said. “Are you going to arrest Mr. Epps, yes or no?”
Is the FBI protecting Ray Epps? pic.twitter.com/t0YPNbkEs7
— Congressman Troy E. Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) July 12, 2023
“I’m not going to engage here in a discussion about individual people who are or are not going to be prosecuted,” Wray said.
“You can see him. I almost think he’s inciting a riot,” Nehls said, adding, “There’s a lot of cloud over this.”
“My point is this,” Nehls said. “You arrested a lot of folks for unlawful activity. You just saw the video, and I will tell you, Mr. Wray, if you don’t arrest Mr. Epps, there’s a reason behind it. I believe you know what it is, and it appears to me you are protecting this guy. I strongly recommend you get your house back in order.”