DOJ Charges Ray Epps for Role in Jan 6 Events

Originally published September 19, 2023 9:48 am PDT

Ray Epps, who emerged as a controversial figure from the January 6, 2021 events, has been charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after evading legal consequences for nearly two years.

While Epps has not been charged with physically entering the Capitol building, evidence suggests he played a key role on the Capitol grounds during that day.

“Epps is charged with one misdemeanor count, disorderly or disruptive conduct on restricted grounds,” according to NBC News. “He was charged by information, which suggests that he plans to enter a plea deal.”

According to the DOJ’s charging document, Epps “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 cites his actions on the Capitol grounds, specifically in an “otherwise restricted area within the United States Capitol and its grounds, where the Vice President was and would be temporarily visiting.”

Though the violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(2) can typically result in a misdemeanor with up to a year in prison, the charge against Epps has been upgraded to a felony, indicating a potential for more severe penalties.

Epps’ involvement on January 6 was captured in various video footage.

Sporting a Trump hat, Epps was seen seemingly guiding the day’s proceedings.

His emphatic urging to Trump supporters was captured multiple times on video, with him stating, “I’ll say it. We need to go into the Capitol.”

His actions raised suspicions even amongst some present at the event.

In one instance, after Epps rallied the crowd to march on the Capitol the following day, voices could be heard chanting, “Fed! Fed! Fed!,” suggesting that he might be a government agent attempting to instigate illegal activities among Trump supporters.

Moreover, another piece of footage revealed a seemingly clandestine moment where Epps whispered to an unidentified man.

Moments later, this individual, alongside others, breached the security barricades—fueling speculations regarding Epps’ role in coordinating the breach.

In a subsequent interview with the January 6 committee, a text message Epps sent to his nephew on the day in question was highlighted.

The message read: “I was in the front with a few others. I also orchestrated it.”

Epps’ arrest and subsequent charges bring fresh scrutiny to the events of that day and raise questions regarding the extent of orchestration and instigation that may have been at play.