Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie at a House hearing on Thursday grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland about a ‘mystery man’ named Ray Epps, who is suspected of inciting far-right extremists and Trump supporters to storm the Capitol building on January 6.
I questioned Attorney General Garland about whether there were Federal Agents present on 1/6 and whether they agitated to go into the Capitol. Attorney General Garland refused to answer. pic.twitter.com/RHq3Yd2pbu
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 21, 2021
On January 5, in a video that has been widely viewed on Twitter, Epps can be heard saying: “I don’t even like to say it because I’ll be arrested. I’ll say it. We need to go into the Capitol.”
Ray Epps told The Arizona Republic in a brief telephone interview following the riots that he had traveled to the capitol, but he had been advised by an attorney not to speak about it.
A video online below appears to show him saying, “We’re here to defend the Constitution” and “We need to go into the Capitol.”
— Miss N0b0dy (@MissN0b0dy1) January 6, 2021
On January 8, the FBI field office tweeted out a photo that included a man who appears to be Epps. It seems he can be seen in Photograph #16 at the bottom left of the tweet series.
#FBIWFO is seeking the public's assistance in identifying those who made unlawful entry into U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6. If you witnessed unlawful violent actions contact the #FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit photos/videos at https://t.co/NNj84wkNJP. https://t.co/ZmM6SRHP1I pic.twitter.com/vJQnUBmvRI
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) January 8, 2021
Ray Epps was thus among the very first people to instigate the January 6 riot. In the video above, he is working with a clean-cut, athletic young man who also fits the profile of a federal agent.
Revolver News has now found that Epps was quietly scrubbed from the FBI’s January 6 ‘most wanted’ list in a lengthy deep-dive investigation that won’t be repeated here. Readers are encouraged to dig through the voluminous and enlightening post themselves. Much of the terrain in the article that readers are expected to be familar with won’t be repeated here; a viral Twitter thread that raised the profile of Epps and put him on many readers’ profile can be read here. The key passages for our interest will be provided below, however.
“Then, on July 1, between the hours of 3:37 a.m. and 5:55 p.m., the FBI finally took action on Ray Epps,” Revolver News reported. “But not to prosecute him, or to announce a sweeping investigation or FBI SWAT raid on Epps’s house for all of his phones and electronics. Instead, someone at the FBI quietly and stealthily purged every trace of Ray Epps from the Capitol Riots Most Wanted database.”
“Using the Wayback Machine from archive.org, we see that from January 8, 2021 until 3:37 a.m. on July 1, every archived version of the FBI.gov website shows Ray Epps as Suspect 16,” the report continued. “The below photo is just a snapshot sample from February 16, 2021 — but users can view the Web Archive themselves to witness the Ray Epps purge occurring sometime between 3:37 a.m. and 5:55 p.m. on July 1. That would be during the FBI workday.”
The FBI’s before-and-after scrubbing screenshots can be seen below:
As Revolver News points out, those suspects who were arrested get an “Arrested” label put underneath their photos. However, Epps’ photo was outright deleted from the page. This is highly suspect.
The report also points out that not only did Epps instruct his “commandos and the crowds at his attention to rush into the Capitol,” but he also “assiduously protected cops and law enforcement so no local or federal officers would be harmed during the precision breaches.” You can see this inconsistent behavior in the video below.
The New York Times also seems to have misled readers in an attempt to give Epps cover. On June 30th, the New York Times published a piece entitled Inside the Capitol Riot: An Exclusive Video Investigation. Revolver notes the Times told an outright lie about Ray Epps:
One of the biggest questions hanging over the aftermath of Jan. 6 was whether the riot was planned and carried out by organized groups.
By identifying and tracking key players throughout the day, we found that most — even some at the forefront of the action — were ardent, but disorganized Trump supporters swept up in the moment and acting individually.
The first person to enter the Capitol building, for example, was a 43-year-old husband and father from Kentucky named Michael Sparks. He has no known affiliation with any organized groups. Ray Epps, an Arizona man seen in widely-circulated videos telling Trump supporters on multiple occasions to go into the Capitol, also seemed to have acted on his own.
The claim that Epps “seemed to have acted on his own” is a lie betrayed by the videos themselves, which show him coordinating with others at the Capitol riots.
As can be seen above, the man who turns his hat backwards is perhaps the key instigator in the barricades breach at the East side of the Capitol. This was ten minutes before Donald Trump even finished his speech.
The night before, the pro-Trump crowd immediately identified Epps’s proposal to storm the Capitol as “something only a Fed would propose,” Revolver notes. Members of the MAGA crowd point at Epps and warn others that he acts like a Fed.
There is also a bit of critical context that Revolver News provides that throws the Capitol riots into relief as an anomaly.
“January 6, after all, was scheduled as a Trump rally,” the report notes. “In the 323 rallies before Trump took office, and the 168 rallies thereafter, there had never been a single instance of rioting or pre-planned illegal activity. Lawbreaking was 0 for 491 at Trump rallies before January 6.”
There is also more to the story. Epps is pictured in the video screenshot below next to John Earl Sullivan, the self-described Antifa-supporting ‘revolutionary’ who just happened to video-record Ashli Babbitt’s shooting. Sullivan himself appears to be among several suspect key Jan. 6 actors who have inexplicably been given velvet-glove treatment by the Feds.
As earlier reported by Becker News, almost all of John Earl Sullivan’s YouTube videos appear to have been scrubbed. In late September, Sullivan returned to YouTube under the account called Jayden X, where he says he ‘can’t believe I got banned.’ He then talks about his free life running for ‘five times a week’ while other Capitol riot defendants who did not allegedly commit ‘incitement‘ or other serious offenses are rotting in pre-trial detainment.
As background, Sullivan was arrested on federal charges on January 14th, and later, the approximately $90,000 he made off his exclusive January 6 raw footage, which was paid to him by CNN and other news outlets, was confiscated by U.S. authorities.
“U.S. authorities have confiscated roughly $90,000 from a Utah man who sold footage of a woman being fatally shot during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump,” Reuters reported in May.
“Prosecutors also have filed additional criminal charges against the man, John Earle Sullivan, a self-described political activist who is accused of entering the Capitol building and participating in the riot, ” the report noted, citing unsealed court filings.
“Sullivan now faces a total of eight criminal counts, including weapons charges, related to the riot,” the report added. “Sullivan’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”
It should be noted that one of those charges was that he was on the Capitol grounds with a dangerous weapon, namely, a knife – one of the few January 6 defendants to face such a charge. Obviously, those serious federal charges did not preclude Sullivan being released on his recognizance, even as he was indicted by a grand jury and pleaded not guilty to charges for which there is copious amounts of evidence.
The Ashli Babbitt shooting itself is one of the most bizarre bits of political theater in American history. There are too many questions about the behavior of Capitol police and provocateurs to recount here; suffice it to say, that the main actors in that scene have largely been kept out of public view, despite their roles at center stage of the January 6 riots.
The New York Times in a February report on the Capitol riots buried numerous important and relevant pieces of information regarding the shooting death of Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt.
The Times’ story seems to intentionally obscure the mysterious circumstances surrounding Babbitt’s death to protect a trio of shadowy figures who were involved in the fatal incident. The Antifa-supporting activist John Sullivan, who recorded the entire thing, the man who smashed the window with a helmet, Zachary Jordan Alam, and the shooter himself, Lt. Michael Byrd, whom we later found out was indeed the Capitol police officer who pulled the trigger.
This pattern of deleting or suppressing evidence in the public record, when combined with the FBI refusing to release over 14,000 hours of footage, leads one to the conclusion that the Feds were very much involved in January 6.
It is going on a year after January 6. The American people still do not have answers about the extent that FBI informants and agents were involved. The only official body tackling January 6 questions is a partisan House committee that appears more interested in providing Speaker Pelosi and the Feds political cover than providing real accountability. It is up to investigative journalists and the American people to press for answers, because it very much looks like the federal government is unwilling to admit the ugly truth.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.