If you are curious about who Ray Epps is, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn a bit about the former politician, including his association with the far-right Oath Keepers. And you’ll also learn a bit about his relationship with the government.
He was a member of the far-right Oath Keepers
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Epps was not arrested in the Capitol riot, but he has been linked to the insurrection. The former president of the Arizona Oath Keepers has been accused of being a member of a conspiracy.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Oath Keepers are an extremist group. It targets veterans, former law enforcement, and those with an anti-government view. This group also claims to defend the Constitution.
The FBI has been investigating the riot, but has not tracked Epps. Two Republican senators have questioned top Justice Department officials about the case. One of them has accused Epps of being an FBI plant.
Several right-leaning media outlets have reshaped the narrative about Epps. They have compiled selectively-edited videos of him during the riot. These videos were viewed on social media for months.
The videos show him encouraging a crowd of Trump supporters to go into the Capitol building. He cups his hands and speaks into the ear of a man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” ballcap.
He was a controversial politician
If you are a Trump fan, you may have heard about Ray Epps, a self-proclaimed Trump supporter, and his claims to have played a pivotal role in the Capitol insurrection. However, the claim isn’t what you might think.
According to the right-wing media, Ray Epps was involved in the alleged incident, but was never arrested. Despite being featured in several widely circulated videos urging Trump supporters to storm the Capitol, Epps was reportedly not there. Several prominent Republicans have endorsed the conspiracy theory that Epps was a secret agent for the FBI.
The story started with a video posted on a 4chan message board. While the content of the post was dubious, the video did make the claim that Epps was the first man to direct a crowd to enter the Capitol.
The claim reportedly drew attention from the likes of Senator Ted Cruz. A video of the claim was also tweeted by the senator. In fact, the tweet was followed by a press conference by the Right Side Broadcasting Network outside the Capitol.
He used the word “orchestrate” in a text message
As of the time of this writing, Ray Epps is still free. In fact, his name has been linked to numerous controversies, including a mysterious letter from a Mexican cartel. He was also a prominent figure in the right-wing conspiracy theorist movement.
The best way to characterize Epps is he is an agent provocateur. For one thing, he was seen on video encouraging pro-Trump supporters to storm the Capitol, a move he later denied. But the more interesting question is: how did he do it?
A slew of media and government officials have weighed in on the subject. The most notable response is from Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. In a nutshell, he is claiming that there is no evidence to support Epps’ claim. And that the alleged “proof” is the product of a phony smear campaign financed by the same folks who attacked the Oath Keeper.
According to his own testimony, Epps was caught on video several times promoting the aforementioned tidbits, but never actually performing them. This is why he was a prime target for a left-wing propaganda campaign that went all the way to the Senate floor.
He could have evaded law enforcement if he was working with the government
Throughout his tenure with the anti-government militia Oath Keepers, former Arizona resident Ray Epps has been the target of conspiracy theories, especially those involving an undercover FBI agent. The theories have been pushed hard by Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and other right-wing politicians.
When a video surfaced of Epps speaking to a rioter at the barricades, he appeared to encourage his fellow Trump supporters to enter the Capitol building. He also tried to calm down the violence between police and protesters. However, he never entered the building, and did not engage in any violence.
After a special House committee questioned Epps, he claimed he did not participate in the riot. Instead, he was just trying to protect his family. His son, Jim, and other grandchildren had been being picked on at school.
As the investigation into the Capitol attack began, Epps’ name began to pop up in right-wing conspiracy theory circles. The right-wing theory centered around the notion that the FBI was behind the attack, and that Epps was part of the federal government’s infiltration of the mob.