Tuesday, May 28, 2024

FBI Initially Closed Case on J6 Provocateur Ray Epps in July 2021

'No potential criminal violations or priority threats to national security warranting further investigation were identified. FBI Phoenix is closing captioned matter...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Despite having an abundance of evidence about Capitol Hill provocateur Ray Epps by early 2021, the FBI initially closed its investigation into him by July of that year, according to records filed Tuesday on the federal court docket.

The Justice Department apparently reopened the Epps case after Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Revolver News and other conservatives began to question whether he was being protected by government. The DOJ eventually slapped him with a lone misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

FBI records showing the initial decision to close the Epps case were attached to a sentencing memorandum filed by the DOJ on Tuesday. Prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Epps to six months imprisonment—a punishment that’s been criticized as relatively light for a man who helped stoke the riot.

According to the FBI records attached to the sentencing memo, the bureau had Epps under investigation in early and mid 2021. According to those records, the FBI had “photographic/and or video evidence that James Ray Epps conspired to and/or recruited others to storm the United States Capitol Building.”

However, a July 29, 2021, FBI report said that its “investigation did not reveal sufficient evidence that Epps … engaged in acts of violence or committed any other criminal violations.” That’s despite the fact that video had already surfaced showing him pushing a sign into a group of police officers, and that Epps had admitted to trespassing on Capitol grounds.

The FBI report said that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington DC declined to prosecute Epps. The report referenced an email from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but that email wasn’t included in the records filed on Tuesday.

“No potential criminal violations or priority threats to national security warranting further investigation were identified. FBI Phoenix is closing captioned matter,” the report concluded. “In the event additional derogatory information is discovered regarding captioned subject, FBI Phoenix will consider reopening this investigation.”

Epps has claimed that the DOJ’s trespassing charge against him disproves the theory that he was a federal asset who encouraged Trump supporters to commit violence on Jan. 6.

“In May 2023, the Department of Justice notified Epps that it would seek to charge him criminally for events on January 6, 2021—two-and-a-half years later. The relentless attacks by Fox and [Tucker] Carlson and the resulting political pressure likely resulted in the criminal charges,” Epps said last year in a lawsuit against Fox News, which is still ongoing.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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