Ray Epps, a man who was filmed encouraging protesters to storm the Capitol building ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, is being charged with a felony for his alleged role in the riot.
Epps was charged Monday with a felony for disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds by the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington, D.C., according to a court filing uploaded Tuesday.
BREAKING: Ray Epps charged with a felony for disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building for his role in the Jan 6 Capitol riot @DailyCaller https://t.co/fzX83H8vU7 pic.twitter.com/OyrnL797YB
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 19, 2023
“On or about January 6, 2021, within the District of Columbia, James Ray Epps Sr. did knowingly, and with intent to impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, engage in disorderly and disruptive conduct in and within such proximity to, a restricted building and grounds,” the document reads. Epps is being charged with a single count for violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(2) and could face prison time.
Epps said in a defamation lawsuit filed against Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson that the Department of Justice (DOJ) notified him in May 2023 that he was going to be charged for his alleged role in the Capitol riot.
“Finally, in May 2023, the Department of Justice notified Epps that it would seek to charge him criminally for events on January 6, 2021—two-and-a-half years later,” Epps’ lawsuit states.
I hope Tucker’s lawyers force Ray Epps to explain why he was never arrested by the FBI despite literally telling people to go into the Capitolpic.twitter.com/rh0ydFdzBE
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 12, 2023
Livestream footage from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, appears to show Epps pushing for Trump supporters to storm the Capitol the next day. His apparent role in the Jan. 6th riot and lack of law enforcement scrutiny led to speculation from Carlson and other pundits that Epps was a federal agent.
He has been profiled by the New York Times and CBS’s 60 Minutes because of the speculation surrounding Epps’ role in the Capitol riot. Epps said in his lawsuit that he and his wife were forced to leave their Arizona home because of alleged threats and intimidation.
“I’m probably gonna go to jail for this. Tomorrow, we need to go into the Capitol,” Epps could be heard shouting on the livestream. Epps added that it should be done “peacefully” after protesters around him accused him of being a federal agent.
In his lawsuit, Epps says that his remarks were intended to “prove that he was on their side so that he could deescalate the situation.”
The DOJ has charged more than 1,100 defendants in nearly all 50 states and D.C. 32 months since the Capitol riot, according to an update the DOJ posted on Sept. 6.
Investigative reporter. James Lynch can be reached on Twitter @jameslynch32
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