(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Capitol Hill provocateur Ray Epps asked a judge for probation in a sentencing memo filed Monday, denying the Justice Department’s characterization of his behavior on Jan. 6, 2021, as “felonious.”
Epps, who encouraged other protestors to go into the Capitol building and who committed violence on Jan. 6, faces a lone misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. Last week, DOJ prosecutors asked for a judge to sentence him to six months imprisonment—a punishment that’s been criticized as relatively light for a man who helped stoke the riot.
“Although Epps engaged in felonious conduct during the riot on January 6, his case includes a variety of distinctive and compelling mitigating factors, which led the government to exercise its prosecutorial discretion and offer Epps a pre-indictment misdemeanor plea resolution,” the DOJ said last week.
“Specifically, Epps: (1) turned himself in to the FBI two days after the riot, on January 8, 2021, immediately after becoming aware the FBI was seeking to identify him; (2) cooperated with both the FBI and Congress, participating in multiple lengthy voluntary interviews; and (3) engaged in at least five efforts on January 6 to deescalate conflict and avoid violence between rioters and police officers.”
However, the DOJ downplaying his conduct apparently wasn’t good enough for Epps.
In his response on Monday, Epps denied that his conduct was felonious. Even though he is caught on camera helping other protestors push a sign into a group of police officers, Epps said that’s not what really happened.
“Mr. Epps barely touched the sign as it passed directly over, and by, him. If he had not lifted it over his head, it would have been pushed right into him … Nor was he pushing forward in unison with others before he worked his way to the front,” Epps said in his sentencing memo.
“To the contrary, Mr. Epps felt stuck in the middle of a congested crowd. He moved as he could to get out of it. The videos show him moments later walking in free space between protestors and officers, trying to deescalate the protestors in support of the police officers.”
Epps is set to be sentenced Tuesday.
He 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.