Ray Epps — a Donald Trump supporter, Oath Keepers militia member and participant within the Jan. 6 rally who grew to become the topic of right-wing conspiracy theories concerning the assault on Congress — has been charged with one felony rely associated to the riot.
in Court file In U.S. District Courtroom in Washington, D.C., on Monday, federal prosecutors charged Epps with disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing or grounds.
This cost will be charged Punishment of up to 10 years.
Epps, a former US Marine from Arizona, went to Washington in January 2021 to hitch protesters looking for to forestall Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in final November’s presidential election.
On the night time of January 5, he was photographed in downtown Washington, telling different Trump supporters: “Tomorrow, we have to go to the Capitol…peacefully.”
The following day, when Trump instructed his supporters to “struggle like hell” for his trigger, the Capitol was attacked. The assault failed and Trump’s defeat was confirmed. 9 deaths have now been linked to the riots.
The concept that Epps was a federal agent, appearing as an agitator, took maintain early. On the night time of January 5, some round him chanted: “Fed! Feed it! Feed it! Feed it!” In footage of the assault, after a Capitol Police officer fell, Epps was seen pulling one of many rioters apart.
Proper-wing media, together with prominently Fox Information prime-time host Tucker Carlson, eagerly picked up the speculation that Epps was linked to federal brokers.
In July, Epps filed a defamation lawsuit in opposition to Fox Information, a go well with introduced by the right-wing community to request dismissal.
Epps spoke to CBS in August.
“I mentioned some silly issues,” he mentioned. “My thought course of is we encompass the Capitol and get all of the folks there. I imply, I had issues with the election. “It was my obligation as an American to protest peacefully, together with anybody else who wished to take action.”
Concerning the second the officer fell, he mentioned that he mentioned to the rioter: “Dude, we’re not right here for that. The police usually are not the enemy, or something like that.”
He denied any connection to police or federal businesses. There isn’t a proof that he dedicated any violent acts on January 6 or entered the Capitol constructing.
He instructed CBS that after he went to assist an injured man, “he regarded on the Capitol, and there have been folks crawling up the partitions of the Capitol. And he regarded…horrible. I imply I used to be ashamed of what was occurring at that time. So I began going out.”
Requested about efforts to “painting you as this instigator,” citing his actions and messages, Epps mentioned: “There was an try to make me a scapegoat.”
Earlier this yr, Dominic Pezzola, a member of the far-right Proud Boys who was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in jail for his function within the riots, summoned Epps conspiracy idea whereas testifying in courtroom.
Epps was charged with the data, suggesting a plea deal was possible.
On Tuesday, Epps’ attorneys didn’t instantly remark.