Ray Epps, the man some believe was allegedly an FBI informant hired to incite the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, will interview with the House Jan. 6 Select Committee on Friday.
According to the committee, Epps interviewed with them in November, and he claimed he had no affiliation with the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.
John Blischak, Epps’ lawyer, reportedly told Politico that November’s meeting was a precursor for the formal, transcribed interview set to occur on Friday.
Epps appears on video from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 urging Trump supporters to break inside the Capitol Building to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes.
“We need to go IN…to the Capitol,” Epps yelled to crowds the night of Jan. 5. “I’m probably going to go to jail,” he added.
“Tomorrow, we need to go INTO the Capitol!,” he emphasized. “INTO the capitol!”
Epps’ comments were immediately booed by crowds, who began chanting “Fed! Fed! Fed! Fed! Fed!”
On Jan. 6, Epps was filmed again encouraging crowds to go and break into the Capitol Building.
“Okay folks! Spread the word! As soon as the president is done speaking, we go to the Capitol,” he shouted while he guided crowds towards the direction of the building.
“The Capitol is this direction!,” he shouted.
Later, Epps approached the barricade surrounding the Capitol, and he was filmed whispering something into Ryan Samsel’s ear. Two seconds later, Samsel and others began tearing down the barricade and storming the building.
Epps was never arrested or charged. He was originally pictured on the FBI’s Capitol Violence “most wanted” list, but he was removed from it in July without any explanation, leaving many to question if he was a federal agent.
John Blischak argued that Ray Epps was removed from the list because he never went inside the building. Epps’ attorney also noted that his client called the FBI on Jan. 8 and “explained his position” to them.
While he never entered the building, Epps was filmed standing in a “restricted area,” but was never charged. Raechel Genco, however, was filmed standing next to Epps in the “restricted area.” Genco was arrested by authorities and charged.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, questioned FBI Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch, Jill Sanborn, about whether agents or informants were involved the the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
“Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th? Yes or no?” asked Cruz.
Sanborn told Cruz that she could not give that information.
The FBI official also told Cruz that she was “aware” of who Ray Epps was, but that she did not have specific background information on him.
Luke Robinson, another purported informant, was filmed on Capitol grounds with a concealed handgun and wearing an earpiece. Like Epps, he was put on the FBI’s “most wanted” list. However, he was later removed on Sept. 25, the same day the New York Times reported that an informant could have been at the Capitol, without any explanation.
The Select Committee reported earlier this month that Epps interviewed with them in November. They exhibited Epps’ denial of being a law enforcement agent as definitive proof that he had no involvement with the FBI.
Anti-Trump Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called accusations claiming Epps was an FBI informant “conspiracy theories,” and called those believing them “crazies.”
Kinzinger also thanked Epps on Twitter for cooperating with the committee.
President Trump mocked those allegedly covering up Epp’s involvement with the FBI during his rally in Arizona last week.
“How about the one guy, ‘Go in! Go in! Get in there everybody’—Epps—”Get in there, go go go!” said Trump. “Nothing happens to him. What happened to him? Nothing happens.”