Ray Epps, rioter at centre of conspiracy idea, charged over January 6

Ray Epps, rioter at centre of conspiracy idea, charged over January 6

Ray Epps – a Donald Trump supporter, Oath Keepers militia member and January 6 participant who turned the topic of rightwing conspiracy theories in regards to the assault on Congress – has been charged with one felony depend associated to the riot.

In a court docket submitting in US district court docket in Washington DC, dated Monday, federal prosecutors charged Epps with disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing or grounds.

The cost can carry a sentence of as much as 10 years.

A former US marine from Arizona, Epps went to Washington in January 2021 to affix protesters searching for to dam Joe Biden’s victory over Trump within the presidential election the earlier November.

On the evening of 5 January, he was filmed in downtown Washington, telling different Trump supporters: “Tomorrow, we have to go into the Capitol … peacefully.”

The subsequent day, as Trump informed supporters to “struggle like hell” in his trigger, the Capitol got here below assault. The assault failed and Trump’s defeat was confirmed. 9 deaths have now been linked to the riot.

The notion that Epps was a federal agent, performing as a provocateur, took root early. On the evening of 5 January, some round him chanted: “Fed! Fed! Fed! Fed!” In footage of the assault, after a Capitol police officer went down, Epps was seen pulling a rioter apart.

Rightwing media, prominently together with the then Fox Information prime-time host Tucker Carlson, eagerly took up the speculation that Epps was linked to federal brokers.

In July, Epps filed a defamation go well with in opposition to Fox Information, which the rightwing community has sought to dismiss.

Epps spoke to CBS in August.

“I mentioned some silly issues,” he mentioned. “My thought course of, we encompass the Capitol, we get all of the folks there. I imply, I had issues with the election. It was my obligation as an American to peacefully protest, together with anyone else that wished to.”

Of the second involving the fallen officer, he mentioned he informed the rioter: “‘Dude, we’re not right here for that. The police aren’t the enemy,’ or one thing like that.”

He denied any hyperlinks to police or federal businesses. There isn’t any proof he dedicated any acts of violence on January 6, or entered the Capitol.

He informed CBS that after he went to assist an injured man, he “seemed again on the Capitol, and there was folks crawling up the Capitol partitions. And it seemed … horrible. I imply, I used to be sort of ashamed of what was happening at that time. So I began to stroll out.”

Requested about efforts to “paint you as this instigator”, citing his personal actions and messages, Epps mentioned: “There was an effort to make me a scapegoat.”

Earlier this 12 months, Dominic Pezzola, a member of the far-right Proud Boys group who was in the end sentenced to 10 years in jail for his half within the riot, invoked the Epps conspiracy idea whereas testifying in court docket.

Epps was charged by info, suggesting a plea deal could also be possible.

On Tuesday, legal professionals for Epps didn’t instantly remark.

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