Ray Epps is suing Fox News over their depiction of him as a government agent over the January 6th riot according to the Guardian. The enigmatic man who was captured on film the night before January 6th, 2021 advocating that Trump supporters should storm the Capitol Building, directed people on January 6th to go to Capitol when Trump was finished speaking and appeared to have orchestrated the first breach on the Capitol’s barricades. Epps has curiously evaded charges over his role in the riot and appears to be the only January 6th rioter defended by the January 6th Committee.
During his testimony to the January 6th Committee, Epps acknowledged that he was a former member of the Oath Keepers militia group and denied being an uncover agent or being in communication with a law enforcement agency regarding the January 6th riot. He tried to excuse his advocacy for going to the Capitol Building on January 5th where he said he could be arrested for suggesting that course of action as getting “caught up in the moment” and did not really believe he would be arrested. He offered as testimony that he tried to prevent violence rather than be the cause of it.
The story about Ray Epps’s involvement in January 6th riot was first explored in depth by Revolver News back in October 2021. It appears that in addition to Fox News, Epps’s lawyer also warned Revolver News over their coverage of his client.
Fox News‘s coverage of the man was primarily done through Tucker Carlson, who was fired from the outlet back in April. Mr. Carlson in nearly 20 episodes of his show theorized that Epps could have been an undercover operative whose purpose was to “stage-manage the insurrection.” Epps’s lawyer sent Carlson’s former employer a cease-and-desist letter that demanded a retraction of the claim, and an on-air apology.
Ray Epps in an interview with CBS News said that Tucker is “obsessed with me. He’s going to any means possible to destroy my life and our lives…[t]o shift blame [for January 6th] on somebody else.” Epps defended himself by saying that many politicians who told the public prior to January 6th that the election was stolen had more impact than himself.
Epps admitted that he “said some stupid things” about going into the Capitol Building and explained that ” [m]y thought process, we surround the Capitol, we get all the people there. I mean, I had problems with the election. It was my duty as an American to peacefully protest, along with anybody else that wanted to.” Epps further claimed that his actions on the day of the riot were not violent. He said simply about the time when a barrier and a female police officer were knocked over by rioters, “I was there. I wasn’t a part of that, knocking her down.”
Epps texted his nephew on that day, “I was in front with a few others. I also orchestrated it” and said that he shouldn’t have used the word “orchestrated”.