(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Following the Capitol incident, Ray Epps reportedly contacted the FBI tip line two days later after seeing his name on a list of suspects for the Jan. 6 unrest.
Epps told investigators that a videotape showed him talking into another guy’s ear, identified as Ryan Samsel, was him trying to calm him down before he attacked the Capitol barriers.
Former Oath Keeper Epps was removed from the FBI’s Capitol Violence Most Wanted list without explanation after almost six months. Epps did not enter the Capitol on January 6.
Epps reportedly said to a rioter while standing on restricted Capitol grounds that “We’re holding ground – we’re not trying to get anyone hurt,” but that the act had gone chiefly unpunished.
In the video, Epps urged people to “go into the Capitol” on the night of Jan5. This, in addition to his lack of arrest for his role in the incident, has led some Republicans to believe he was an FBI agent sent to rile up the pro-Trump crowd at the Capitol.
According to the audio, Epps informed the FBI that instigators may have been in the crowd the next day, but he denied being one.
In a late January 2021 FBI interview reported by the New York Times, Samsel appeared to validate Epps’ description of their interaction. “He walked up to me and said, ‘Dude, relax, the cops are doing their job.”
Samsel, from Pennsylvania, is accused of wounding a Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6. A far-right Proud Boys organization leader, Joseph Biggs, allegedly drew him aside, urged him to push at the barricades, flashed a revolver when he resisted, asked about his masculinity, and reiterated the appeal. Biggs refuted Samsel’s account.
Last week, the Justice Department disclosed the tapes as part of discovery to defense lawyers representing suspects in the Jan. 6 trials.
An attorney for Paul Russell Johnson, a Jan. 6 defendant accused of assaulting Capitol police, contends that James Ray Epps was involved in the attack on the Capitol in a way that would benefit their defense.
Trump, Republican politicians, and Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson have fueled baseless Epps allegations.
While the Justice Department has avoided inquiries about any informants or agents present on Jan. 6, the House committee investigating the Capitol disturbance claimed it questioned Epps in January.
The panel wrote that the Select Committee is aware of unfounded assertions that Ray Epps was an FBI informant. The Select Committee met with Mr. Epps, who advised them that he was not employed by, worked with, or directed by any law enforcement agency on January 5th or 6th. He was never an FBI or other law enforcement informant.
According to his lawyer, Mr. Epps gave full disclosure to the House committee.
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Epps breached no law, and Epps has cooperated with the FBI and has been deemed nothing but a Jan 6 protest participant.
After the riot, Epps told the Arizona Republic he did nothing wrong and said the way “other” people went in was totally wrong.