Ray Epps, the protester on the heart of the far-right conspiracy on January 6, is charged with the Capitol riot

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Ray Epps, a former Marine and Trump supporter who turned the middle of January 6 Capitol riot CONSPIRACY THEORY He was charged in reference to the riot, in response to courtroom paperwork filed by the Justice Division.

Epps was charged with disorderly or disruptive conduct on restricted grounds. He’s anticipated to look in courtroom Wednesday to achieve a plea settlement.

Within the years following the 2021 riots, Epps was accused of being a authorities plant on January 6, 2021. Far-right conspiracy theorists imagine he was a part of a plot to show a peaceable protest right into a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.

There isn’t a proof to counsel that the conspiracy concept is true. the FBI In April he responded to 60 Minutes’ repeated inquiries concerning the case with a press release saying: “Ray Epps was by no means an FBI supply or an FBI worker.”

Pro-Trump protests get violent over Electoral College certification
Ray Epps, carrying a crimson Trump hat, heart, gestures to others as individuals collect on the West Entrance of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Occasions through Getty Photos

The Home committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot had beforehand referred to as allegations that Epps was an FBI informant “Not supported“.

I heard about Epps for the primary time Plan a protest He testified in Washington in December 2020. That month, then-US President Donald Trump tweeted a few “large protest” on January 6, 2021, and referred to as on his supporters to “be there, it’ll be wild!”

He added that Epps, who believed the election was stolen from Trump, went to Washington for what he thought of a professional political protest. Epps arrived on January 4 and attended a protest on January 5, the place tensions had been working excessive. The occasion was streamed stay on-line and video captured Epps calling out to the group. At 6-foot-4, Epps stood out, carrying a vivid crimson Trump hat.

Epps may be heard saying: “I will get it on the market, and I am most likely going to go to jail for this.” “Tomorrow, we’ve to go to the Capitol! To the Capitol! In peace! In peace.”

He mentioned his pondering was that they’d encompass the Capitol and protest peacefully. The subsequent day, he continued that decision.

“We’re going to the Capitol, the place our issues are,” he mentioned on the January 6 rally. “It is that pattern!”

Whereas Trump was nonetheless talking to his supporters, Epps walked to the Peace Circle outdoors the Capitol, the place protesters confronted police for the primary time. He pulled one of many rampaging troublemakers apart and mentioned one thing. Conspiracy theorists name this smoking gun, as a result of seconds later, the primary Capitol Police officer fell.

Epps informed “60 Minutes” that he was attempting to calm the rioters.

“Dude, we’re not right here for that. The police aren’t the enemy, or something like that,” Epps recalled saying.

Epps was by no means seen coming into the Capitol or committing any acts of violence that day. He informed “60 Minutes” that he left to assist evacuate an injured man as rioters stormed the Capitol.

He informed “60 Minutes” that his nephew despatched him a textual content message urging him to remain protected. That is when Epps despatched what turned a controversial textual content — and eventual proof for conspiracy theorists.

“I used to be in entrance of some others,” Epps wrote within the textual content. “I coordinated that too.”

Epps admitted to directing individuals to the Capitol. He informed “60 Minutes” that he was simply “bragging” to his nephew within the textual content.

Home committee investigating riot Epps asked about the script. He mentioned that on the time of his response, he didn’t know that individuals had been storming the Capitol.

“I used to be so proud that we had been all there,” he testified. “I imply I wasn’t pleased with among the individuals, however for almost all of the individuals there, they had been peace-loving individuals. I imply, they had been like me. And it was a great ambiance aside from these individuals who had been attempting to take it in a special path.”

Epps returned dwelling on January 8 and heard that the FBI was in search of him. He reached out to them and spoke with the FBI two months later at a area workplace in Phoenix, Arizona.

4 months later, the FBI eliminated Epps’ picture from needed posters. The Arizona man thought his issues had been over, however they intensified because the conspiracy unfold round him.

The conspiracy round Epps was first revealed on Revolver Information, a fringe conservative web site. The matter prolonged to Fox Information, members of Congress, and Trump himself.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz beforehand mentioned: “It was not the Proud Boys who participated within the preliminary abuse.” “It is Ray Epps at that actual second.”

Within the years after January 6, Epps confronted harassment and loss of life threats, he informed “60 Minutes.” He and his spouse, Robyn Epps, offered their farm and enterprise.

In July, Epps sued Fox Information for defamation. The lawsuit, filed within the Delaware Supreme Courtroom, accuses Fox of “creating and disseminating damaging conspiracy theories” and reckless disregard for the reality.

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