During the Jan. 6th riot, Ray Epps, the infamous yet uncharged rioter who was filmed urging Trump supporters at the peaceful “Stop the Steal” rally to storm the U.S. Capitol, told his nephew that he’d “orchestrated” something. But what exactly did he “orchestrate”? It’s not entirely clear.
This discovery comes from the Jan. 6th committee, believe it or not, which this week released a transcript of his Jan. 21st, 2022 deposition. During the deposition, what he’d told his nephew came up as a topic of discussion.
Specifically, one of the congressional investigators noted that on the morning of Jan. 6th, Epps’ nephew had texted him, “You and Jim be safe.”
Jim is Epps’ son.
Hours later around 2:12 pm that afternoon, Epps texted back, “I was in the front with a few others. I also orchestrated it.”
On January 6, 2021 Ray Epps texted his nephew to say, “I WAS IN THE FRONT WITH A FEW OTHERS. I ALSO ORCHESTRATED IT.” See the relevant section and also link to full transcript below https://t.co/JV1cITkprd pic.twitter.com/EJb6UKoDfU
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) December 30, 2022
With these texts in mind, the congressional investigator then asked, “Help us understand this text. What did you mean by ‘orchestrate’? What did you orchestrate?”
Epps replied by claiming he’d simply been talking about encouraging people to walk from the “Stop the Steal” rally to the U.S. Capitol.
“I just meant that I got — you have to understand our relationship, uncle-nephew. We hunt together. We fun with each other [sic]. We do that kind of stuff. What I meant by ‘orchestrate,’ I helped get people there,” he said.
He added that at the time he’d encouraged people to go to the Capitol, he hadn’t been aware that the previously peaceful protest had erupted into a riot.
“At that point, I didn’t know that they were breaking into the Capitol. I didn’t know windows had been broken. I didn’t know anybody was in the Capitol. If I answered him, that means I was, at 2:12, I was on my way back to the hotel room,” he explained.
Unsatisfied with Epps’ answer, the congressional investigator then asked him “why” he told his nephew what he did.
“I was pretty proud that we were all there. I mean, I wasn’t proud of some people, but, for the majority of the people there, they were pretty peace-loving people. I mean, they were like me. The atmosphere was good except for those people that were trying to take it in a different direction,” he replied.
Eventually, another congressional investigator broached the subject matter again.
“I just want to understand a little bit more your use of the word ‘orchestrated.’ It sounds to me like, at this point, when you sent this text, you had turned away in part because of seeing some things that you didn’t agree with and were moving back to your hotel. Is that right? Like, when you sent this, you were already on your way away from the Capitol because of concerns of people taking it in a different direction?” the investigator said.
“Right,” Epps replied.
“But you used the word ‘orchestrate.’ It’s almost like you’re sort of taking some ownership over it, whatever that is. So I’m just trying to understand why that word ‘orchestrated’ was used because it sounds like you’re sort of adopting the whole thing, including the stuff that you were walking away from,” the investigator then pressed.
“It was me being — how do you say? You would have to understand the relationship between me and my nephew. It’s just, yeah, I took credit for it, but I didn’t know what I was taking credit for,” Epps replied.
Critics say his reasoning doesn’t sound very legitimate or believable:
Ray Epps : “It’s just yeah — I took credit for it, but didn’t know what I was taking credit for”
Simple mistake — happens all the time pic.twitter.com/eoZsxdIIgo
— Elroy Plambecker (@One_Party_State) December 30, 2022
Sounds just like Jack Ruby – typical patsy responses.
— Whitney Prussia (@WhitneyPrussia) December 30, 2022
He repeats the “you have to understand the relationship between me and my nephew” line, a prepared answer.
— Peter Nooski (@laten_c) December 30, 2022
“Every day is Opposite Day – that’s just what me and my nephew do. You have to understand our relationship.” — Ray Epps, probably
— Trumpelstiltskin (@Abomination1349) December 30, 2022
That last answer… pic.twitter.com/NRSClAVwaC
— David Chisholm (@dachisholm) December 30, 2022
Epp’s name has become notorious because, despite his presence at the Jan. 6th riot, and despite him being seen on video encouraging people to storm the Capitol, he’s never been charged.
What makes this even odder still is that Epps was originally on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list. But then he suddenly disappeared from it.
Because of the weird circumstances surrounding him, some conservatives have speculated that he was an FBI insider/informant who’d purposefully worked to incite the Jan. 6th riot. However, no evidence has emerged to substantiate this theory.
That said, despite the animus toward Epps on the right, he did take a moment during his deposition in January to potentially defend some of the rioters who were prosecuted.
“I believe people went there for answers. People wanted to know what’s next. And I believe they were emotionally charged. A lot of people were emotionally charged and could have got sucked in. So, when these guys tried to hijack it, I think some innocent people, people that meant well, probably were emotionally charged and did some things they normally wouldn’t do,” he said.
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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