WASHINGTON, DC – During a meeting between members of the House Judiciary Committee earlier in September, Republican Rep. Thomas Massie called out his Democratic colleague – who happens to also sit on the House Select committee investigating January 6 – regarding his playing dumb and ostensibly providing cover for the curious January 6 figure, Ray Epps.
The case of Epps and the January 6 incident at the Capitol is one that has spurred more questions than answers – with some among the right thinking Epps may have been an informant, some on the left calling the interest in Epps the ideations of conspiracy theorists, and many others simply curious about why Epps wasn’t charged with anything related to the Capitol incident.
To date, at least 919 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol incident, with Buzzfeed reporting last October that most of the January 6 defendants carry the “same four baseline charges,” which consist of two counts each of demonstrating in the Capitol/disorderly conduct and being in a restricted building – all of which are misdemeanors.
In short, this charging pattern demonstrates that the Justice Department is willing to pursue the smallest of federal infractions with respect to alleged participants in the Capitol incident.
But Epps has managed to skate by without a single charge, which has led to speculation that there is something going on regarding the mysterious Arizona man.
For instance, Epps was confirmed to be a former Oath Keeper, one of the groups the Justice Department has taken a special interest in regarding the Capitol incident. But Epps’ former associations aside are minuscule in comparison when stacked against the actual videos of him from January 5th and 6th urging people to go inside of the Capitol.
On top of the aforementioned, Epps was at one point on the FBI’s wanted list following the Capitol incident but was removed “without explanation after nearly six months,” according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
Again, not one single charge was lodged against Epps, despite there appearing to be ample evidence to pursue an incitement charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2101 based upon Epps directly telling people to enter the Capitol.
With all this taken into consideration, it’s no wonder that Rep. Massie confronted Democratic Rep. Jaime Raskin during a House Judiciary committee meeting about why Democrats aren’t interested in revealing information about Epps.
“You heard myself and three members of this committee – Chip Roy, Ken Buck, and Tom McClintock – issued in a statement urging people not to come here, to accept the results of the electors. And so today, I don’t have an ideological ax to grind either. I find it odd that you all are defending one of the people who assaulted the Capitol.”
Rep. Raskin asked Rep. Massie, “Defending who?” In response, Rep. Massie spelled it out clearly, saying, “Ray Epps,” to which Rep. Raskin played dumb by claiming, “I literally have no idea what you’re talking about.”
For the sake of context, Rep. Raskin is on the January 6 committee, with which Epps himself personally sat down for an interview with the committee earlier in 2022. Of course, while the interview held over Zoom was transcribed/recorded, the January 6 committee has refused to release the transcriptions of his sit down.