This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Ray Epps, the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol protester who was cast as a provocateur by multiple commentators because he was on video urging the crowd to break into the Capitol, yet was not charged, now has been charged.
With a misdemeanor.
As more than 1,000 people who sometimes did not do even as Epps had, urging the crowd to violate the Capitol, were charged, sometimes with felonies, he remained without a court date. There have been cases against people who were not even in Washington that day.
And that very circumstance caused some to claim he was there to provoke the crowd into doing the things it should not.
The Washington Examiner reported Epps "became the focus of online theories about the government plotting the incident," and now has been accused of disorderly conduct.
He previously filed a defamation claim against Fox News and Tucker Carlson, who then was a host for the network, for speculating about his involvement in events that day.
"Monday's charges state that then-Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over the joint session of Congress for the certification of the 2020 election. Epps's conduct 'did in fact impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions,' U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves wrote in the short two-page filing," according to the report.
His actions were the topic of commentary on the Steve Bannon show;
And also his actions were documented in an OAN report:
A sympathetic report from NBC suggested Epps was set to agree to a plea bargain.
He had been listed on the FBI's Capitol Violence web page, but was taken down, contributing to suspicions about him.
Epps was charged with "knowingly, and with intent to impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, engage in disorderly and disruptive conduct in and within such proximity to, a restricted building and grounds—that is, any posted, cordoned-off, and otherwise restricted area within the United States Capitol and its grounds, where the Vice President was and would be temporarily visiting—when and so that such conduct did in fact impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, and attempted and conspired to do so."
Last year, he told Nancy Pelosi's partisan Jan. 6 committee he was in Washington because he supported President Donald Trump. But he said conspiracy theories that followed had torn his life apart.
"I never intended to break the law," Epps, a former Marine, told the committee. "It’s not in my DNA. I’ve never — I’m sure you’ve looked up my record. I don’t break the law."
A commentary from WND CEO Joseph Farah followed a "60 Minutes" "whitewash" of Epps.
He noted, "Epps is portrayed as a tragic figure, even though he is always on the front lines of the Capitol, even the night before, encouraging protesters to go 'inside the Capitol!'"
He added, "Epps went to Washington with his 36-year-old son, not his wife, 'and almost immediately stepped into trouble,' said [the interviewer]. But Epps, despite all he said and did and where he appeared at the Capitol that day, was never arrested. Many others were. They followed his directions to 'go into the Capitol.' Although he was briefly named as one of the 'most wanted' on the FBI's list, he then suddenly disappeared from the list. Epps was clearly giving directions to protesters – talking on cell phones, urging people to storm barricades."
He claimed he was made a "scapegoat."