In the wake of the Capitol Hill protest on Jan. 6, 2021, many conservatives began to identify clues that they believed indicated the entire ordeal was largely coordinated and amplified by instigators working on behalf of the federal government.
One name that frequently surfaced in such discussions is Ray Epps, a former Marine who was at the Capitol on the day of the protest.
Some political pundits have asserted that the fact he has not faced criminal charges despite video evidence that seems to show him encouraging protesters in D.C. suggest that he was planted by the FBI to help fuel the civil unrest.
Former Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson raised such a possibility on multiple occasions, including in a segment that aired about a year ago.
“Now we’ve asked Ray Epps on this show repeatedly to explain why he thinks he’s escaped prosecution, and we’ll ask him once again tonight, and we’ll keep asking because we think it is a very obvious and important question,” he said.
Epps is currently pursuing a lawsuit against the cable news network, alleging that on-air comments by Carlson and others amounted to defamation. He claims that he was subjected to threats from those who believed he was an FBI plant and has been forced to move out of his home in Arizona to live with his wife in a recreational vehicle.
“In the aftermath of the events of January 6th, Fox News searched for a scapegoat to blame other than Donald Trump or the Republican Party,” his court filing asserts. “Eventually, they turned on one of their own.”
The lawsuit requests a jury trial to resolve the issue and he is seeking unspecified damages.
Hey Folks…Just so everyone knows….
Now that Ray Epps will be Charged January 6th is no longer an insurrection.
It can be a Protest, a Riot, etc….definitely not an Insurrection.
I'm sure there is no coordination behind this language change. pic.twitter.com/KR3BWXmw05
— Jason Robertson (@JRobFromMN) July 13, 2023
Carlson was singled out in the lawsuit for “bluntly telling his viewers that it was a fact that Epps was a government informant,” but other personalities including Laura Ingraham and Will Cain were also mentioned.
Although Carlson, who no longer hosts the prime-time show on which he made the claims, is not included as a defendant in the lawsuit, attorney Michael Teter argued that he “was an employee of Fox when he lied about Ray, and Fox broadcast those defamatory falsehoods.”
As a result, he concluded that the network is “fully liable for Mr. Carlson’s statements.”
Neither Fox News nor Carlson provided an immediate response to the latest development.