Ray Epps On January 6: ‘I Orchestrated It’

Arizona man Ray Epps has been a shadowy figure in the events at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, since soon after federal authorities began investigating the matter. Newly released transcripts from the sworn deposition Epps gave to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-selected January 6 Committee that have just been released indicate he claims he had no contact with law enforcement agents during or before the riot.

Epps claimed that he planned his trip to Washington at the last minute to attend President Donald Trump’s rally with his son. He said his wife insisted he go there to protect their son’s safety.

Epps testified that he had no contact with the FBI, the CIA, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, or the National Security Agency.

A video showing a group assembled in Washington on the evening of January 5, 2021, drew attention to Epps’ involvement in the riot. He was seen in that video encouraging people to enter the Capitol Building the following day.

He also turned up in a video taken on January 6 outside the Capitol. He is seen whispering to a protester immediately before the man began attacking a police barricade put in place to keep the crowd away from the building.

The FBI briefly listed Epps as a person they wanted to question about the events inside and near the Capitol. His name was removed from the list with no public explanation.

Epps has not been charged with any criminal offenses related to January 6.

Epps also told the House committee members that he was attempting to de-escalate tensions on January 5 and 6. For example, he said, “I went over to the guy that calls himself Baked Alaska and had words with him, that this was not what we’re about. We need to stay focused.”

Epps was shown on the video shouting to the protestors that they should go inside the Capitol and said he might be arrested for saying so.

Even though Epps insisted he did not intend to break the law, text messages introduced during his deposition could contradict his claims.

He was asked about a text message he sent to his nephew at 2:12 p.m. on January 6 that read, “I was in the front with a few others, I also orchestrated it.”

When asked about the message, Epps said: “What I meant by ‘orchestrate,’ I helped get people there. 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.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) pressed Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland in October 2021 about whether Epps was working with law enforcement. Garland declined to answer any questions about Epps, citing ongoing investigations.