I wrote previously that there was one big thing reportedly missing from the final report of the Jan. 6 Committee — any mention of Ray Epps. Epps is the man who has come under such scrutiny by the public because of video of him urging people to go in to the Capitol on Jan. 5–and video from him outside the Capitol–on January 6, 2021. That raised questions about his role, and why he was not pursued by law enforcement when law enforcement seemed to go after anyone else who breathed in the direction of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
But now, the testimony of Ray Epps has been released–and it’s raising more questions.
The Committee asked him about texts he sent to his nephew on Jan. 6 saying, “I was in the front with a few others. I also orchestrated it.” Yikes. You would think that would have raised the eyebrows of the Committee and made them go after him. How is it that we were not told about this before, while the Committee was trying to spin all kinds of other things?
Yet, instead of going after him on what would seem to be concerning texts, the Committee members’ questioning not only lobbed up softballs, but they asked him leading questions to help explain what he was saying. They suggested that he meant he had “turned away” from the Capitol because of things he didn’t agree with, and was moving back toward his hotel. Click on it to enlarge it.
1/3 One of the most outlandish exchanges involve Epps being asked about a text HE SENT HIMSELF on J6: “I was in the front with a few others. I also orchestrated it.”
Cmte staffers then basically FEED to Epps how he should answer the question.
Epps said that he meant he “helped to get people there.” He said, after the help, that he didn’t know what he was “taking credit for.”
Epps also claimed he was trying to de-escalate things on Jan. 5, despite a video of him saying that people needed “to go into the Capitol.”
“I’m going to put it out there. I’m probably going to go to jail for it, okay,” Epps said. “Tomorrow, we need to go into the Capitol. Into the Capitol.”
Check out this fascinating exchange between Epps and Kinzinger, where Kinzinger isn’t pressing Epps about urging people to go into the Capitol, but suggesting it’s the people who were saying “no, no” to his suggestion to go into the Capitol who were the people escalating things, not Epps.
“At any point on January 5th — so we’ve asked you this question about December 27th through January 4th, but now let’s just focus in on January 5th,” Epps was asked behind closed doors by the committee, according to the transcripts released on Thursday. “Did you coordinate or speak with any law enforcement officials from the FBI?”
“No, sir,” replied Epps, clarifying that he also did not speak or coordinate with police, the CIA, or the National Security Agency.
“Any other law enforcement officials, other than the other folks you mentioned earlier, you might have interacted with at the plaza as you were deescalating?” Epps was also asked, to which he said, “No, sir.”
The Committee had previously claimed that he’d told them that he wasn’t employed by or worked for any law enforcement agency on Jan. 5, 6, or any other time–and that he wasn’t an informant for the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.
Then there was also an infamous video of him whispering into the ear of a man, and the man immediately after that trying to pull one of the barriers in front of the Capitol grounds down. Epps was asked about that as well, and said he was de-escalating there as well.
I don’t know too much about Epps but in this part it sounds like he tried to address a viral clip (the one with the fences).
Ray Epps claims BEFORE that video was taken, ANOTHER guy was shaking them, and Epps simply told the guy to back off? pic.twitter.com/8JzCTWiec8