Ray Epps’s January 6th interview is bizarro-world

Ray Epps’s January 6th interview is bizarro-world.

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The entire thing reads like an exculpatory public relations effort, replete with assistance from committee members more concerned with helping Epps clear his name than getting to the bottom of his actions that day. But Epps’s interview is even stranger than these “CYA” attempts.

Reps Schiff, Murphy, Aguilar, and Kinzinger were present during the interview finally conducted on January 21st 2022, after months of work by Darren Beattie’s Revolver.news, among others, which brought Epps’s activities on January 5th and 6th to light.

Here are the top 12 strange, stand-out moments:

1. Directing AntiFa.

Epps says, early on, that he was a member of the Oath Keepers, but that he left because national leader Stewart Rhodes was trying to “direct” Antifa. It is amazing how within just a few questions, Epps is already attempting to prove his credentials in the arena of not being an entryist, or a Fed, by laying out how organizations he was a part of engaged in Fed-style entryist tactics. How convenient. He recalls:

“I think it was Portland. It was Portland. I think that’s when antifa had first come out, and we were seeing a lot of things. They were burning things and doing different things on the news, and he thought it would be wise if we were to go there and try to direct the, get in with them and direct them to do other things — other ways. I didn’t agree with that so we kind of split ways.”

The person questioning Epps, whose name is redacted, hurries along from the matter remarkably quickly: “Got it… so now, I want to fast forward from the couple of years you were in the Oath Keepers to the 2020 general election.”

Hold on a minute. This is a self-professed member of the Oath Keepers, who was on the front lines on January 6th, telling you about their organization’s infiltration attempts, and you want to “fast forward”? Hm.

A few moments later, Rep. Kinzinger revisits the topic: “…when you talked about the antifa side of things, were you saying his goal was to kind of infiltrate and influence, like, partner, or was it kind of influence and sabotage or stray differently?”

Epps: “I believe he was going to try to turn them to our way of thinking.”

This is the first of many attempts to establish a fact pattern that suggests Epps himself would never think of infiltrating and sabotaging. In fact, you’ll never see Kinzinger be so nice to a supposed Trump supporter as he is throughout this interview.

2. A Father-Son Trip!

This one is a recurring red flag, because Epps claims he originally refused to go to D.C. on Jan 6th, before his wife convinced him there might be trouble, and that his son might need help. What assistance an elderly man might offer his adult son traveling with his friends is not made clear. By page 13, however, we learn that Epps’s wife had booked his travel, but had not booked him anywhere to stay. As a result, Epps ended up sleeping on his son’s bed at the Washington Marriott, while his son Jim’s friend slept on the floor.

“It was going to be a great vacation and get to see the sights and — and show him what I had done with my father earlier [in life],” Ray told the committee.

3. Tourniquets.

If any of you take tourniquets on vacation with you, please let me know in the comments. Because tourniquets don’t sound like my idea of a “great vacation,” and yet, by page 15, we learn that Epps was texting someone called Nathen Jones for tourniquets, combat gauze, and breathing tubes.

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Seriously:

“So it’s supposed to be a fun kind of family vacation, but we also see you packing first aid,” Epps is then asked.

“Like I said before, prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” he replied.

At this point, Adam Kinzinger chimes in with yet another highly implausible comparison, in an attempt to get Epps off the hook for this bizarre behavior:

KINZINGER: “Just — Mr. Epps, again just — would the mindset be comparable to — for instance, I pretty much wherever I go, I conceal carry. I certainly hope I never have to use it, but I have it just in case.”

Huh? Carrying tourniquets, gauze, and breathing tubes to the nation’s capital during a family vacation is the same as concealed carrying? Pull the other one.

4. Who is Paul Carver?

Speeding on past this strange behavior as the committee did, we find ourselves hearing about one Mr. Paul Carver, on page 22:

Q: “And when you returned back to D.C., what did you all do? What was your next steps that day?”

Epps: “It was kind of difficult, because there wasn’t a lot of restaurants open, so I’m trying to – oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I do remember. We had a gentleman that kept trying to call me while we were gone, and he is from Arizona, and I don’t — just a second. I can’t find it here. I believe his last name is Carver. He had called several times and tried to reach us, so I called him back. He wanted to meet us for dinner. And I had met him one other time at a VFW, and I didn’t really remember him, but that’s okay. So we met at a small restaurant and had dinner.”

Q: “So we saw in your call records an individual named Mr. Paul Carver on January 5th. Is that the individual that was calling you?

Epps: “It was Paul Carver, yes, sir.”

Q: “Take us through what happened. What did you all do after did with Mr. Carver?”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What do you mean after dinner with Mr. Carver? There’s some random dude who Epps says he doesn’t know, who is calling him and trying to meet up all day, and then they meet up and have dinner, and there are no immediate questions about who this person was? The only other reference to this comes way down on page 74, where Epps is asked: “And Mr. Carver, does he work for the FBI or CIA or NSA, to your knowledge?” Epps replies: “Not that I’m aware of, sir.”

Ooookay.

The questioning quickly turns to the infamous scenes of Epps at Black Lives Matter Plaza, before briefly looping back to Carver:

Epps: “I hadn’t talked to him before — before that. I mean, I — I don’t know how he would know [that we were in DC], but he kept trying to call me, so — When he talked to me, he found out I was in D.C… He may have known. I — I don’t know how he would have found out because I — I had not talked to him before that, since I met him the first time. In fact, I didn’t know who he was, but he was from Arizona, he was calling me, and we met up.”

Q: Okay. Thank you.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘OKAY THANK YOU’?!

This random dude from Arizona is calling Epps all day. Epps claims he has no idea who the guy is, decides to have dinner with this stranger anyway (despite claiming to be such a cautious person that he travels with first aid supplies), and the trail of questions on that matter ends there? Um…

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5. “We need to go into the Capitol…”

At this point it’s worth revisiting some of Ray Epps’s “best of” moments from January 5th and 6th, as his explanation in his testimony stretches credulity, and indeed, as some on social media have noted, he appears to have actually further implicated himself in subsequent text messages to his family.

Thomas Massie @RepThomasMassie

How many January 6th protesters were actually working for the federal government? In October, I asked AG Garland while he was under oath and he refused to answer. He looked very nervous and worried when I showed him this video in that hearing.

10:46 AM ∙ Dec 30, 2021


26,045Likes10,564Retweets

So here, we see Epps on the night of the 5th, after his dinner with stranger “Paul Carver,” and after ostensibly both meeting up with his son and his friend at Black Lives Matter Plaza, and then becoming separated again (this happens very often for someone traveling specifically to protect his son).

Epps is asked by the Jan 6 committee: “…you said that you may get arrested for saying this, that the group needs to go into the Capitol the next day. Why did you think you could be arrested for saying what you were saying?”

“I didn’t,” Epps replies. “I was trying to — to get some common ground.”

So, in other words, gaining the trust of the crowd to try to influence them? The same tactic he claims he left the Oath Keepers over?

“I — I got caught up in the moment,” he further explains, before going on to state that a) he secretly believed the U.S. Capitol would be open to visitors the next day (no one believed that); and b) that he did not hear them chanting “FED! FED! FED!” in response to his suggestion. As you can see from the video, they were chanting it about 10 centimeters from his face. Another ridiculous stretch of credulity. And so, like clockwork, on page 28, in steps Rep. Adam Kinzinger:

Kinzinger: “…it seemed to me that [the crowd around you] — their focus at that moment was basically trying to incite violence that night. You were trying to stop violence that night. Is that an accurate assessment on my end?”

Epps: “Yes, sir.”

Kinzinger: “Ok, that’s all I have for the moment. Thank you, sir.”

Huh??? He’s on camera inciting an invasion of the Capitol and Kinzinger’s takeaway is that he was trying to stop violence? Even if the next day’s events hadn’t transpired the way they did, that is an impossible conclusion to reach, given the evidence. The new Republican-controlled Congress should immediately subpoena Kinzinger himself, and force him to publicly account for this ridiculous conclusion/cover up.

See also, page 31: “Some people in the crowd started chanting ‘Fed’ towards you. Do you remember that?”

Epps: “I don’t. I even asked my son. I — I had a hard time believing it at first. I thought it might have been dubbed in or something. I — I didn’t hear it. My son said he didn’t hear it.”

Utter. Fucking. Rubbish.

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6. Are You a Fed, Mr. Epps?

At this point, instead of pressing Epps on the ludicrous claims over the night of the 5th, the conversation turns into yet another attempt to clear him of any collusion with authorities.

Q: “At any point on January 5th — so we’ve asked you this question about December 27th through January 4th, but now let’s just focus in on January 5th. did you co-ordinate or speak with any law enforcement officials from the FBI?”

Epps: “No, sir.”

Q: “The Metropolitan Police Department?

Epps: “No, sir.”

Q: “The CIA or NSA?”

Epps: “No, sir.”

It goes on like this. Except remember, Epps has dinners with strangers who call his cell phone. And he also can’t hear when someone is shouting “Fed!” in his face from a tourniquet’s length away.

7. Midnight.

On page 33, we learn that Epps’s son Jim had text his dad, asking if he was still out at BLM Plaza.

Q: “It looks like you had a lengthy — or 140 seconds, so what’s that? That’s not even 3 minutes — conversation with your son just after midnight. Is that possible that you guys were separated still at that point, or were you back to the hotel room?”

Epps: “Yes, it is possible. I had to walk back.”

Okay, he had to walk back. Does that account for the near TWO HOUR difference between when Epps’s son text him, and when he appears to reach the hotel? Not really. Something else strange happens at this point in the conversation: the questioner asks for a break, and when they return, Epps has additional counsel:

We know that Epps says he stayed at the “Washington Marriott”. Well, there are indeed a few Marriotts in D.C., but not a lot of “Washington Marriotts”. There are Courtyards by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, etc. But in so far as hotels named “Marriott” – there are three biggies: the Washington Marriott, the Washington Marriott Georgetown, and the JW Marriott, as indicated below. There’s also the new Marriott Marquis attached to the D.C. Convention Center, where you see the ‘Unconventional Diner’ on the map:

The walk from BLM Plaza to the Washington Marriott takes 10 minutes. The walk from BLM Plaza to the JW Marriott takes 12 minutes. The walk between the JW Marriott and the Washington Marriott is 8 minutes. So unless Epps really got turned around and walked 10 blocks in the wrong direction to the Georgetown Marriott, or 20 minutes to the Marriott Marquis – several times over – the idea that the two hours is accounted for by trying to find his hotel 10 minutes away makes little sense. He might’ve ambled around, but remember, this is an old dude in a strange city, who was just in a fracas with randos at BLM Plaza, at midnight.

His son even text him at 10:30pm, asking his whereabouts but on page 38 we learn that Epps was still making calls at 12:17am and 12:19am, to his son and his brother “Scott or Darrell” (he oddly can’t remember) respectively. This time period, broadly unaccounted for, is never further explored by the committee. But within 6 hours or so, the trio – Epps, his son, and his son’s friend Zack – were outside the White House ready for the rally at the Ellipse.

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8. “Marines Are Always in the Front.”

On page 42, Epps says the three of them stayed “All the way up to President Trump,” which is an odd thing to do for someone who traveled across the country, from Arizona, ostensibly in part to hear President Trump speak. Why even wait at the Ellipse at 6am, if you were just going to leave when the keynote speaker started? To their mild credit, this question was asked by the committee, though the answer raises more questions:

Q: Why did you leave when President Trump started speaking?”

Epps: “There was a group that started running towards the Capitol. I mean, they were moving quite fast, and so I just thought, you know what, I want to be in the front; I’ll get up there. And on the way there, I noticed that it was some of the same people that were there on the night before. They had blow horns. They were trying to incite people and stir things up. I thought it important that I get up there, and I did.”

Right. Because the guy who couldn’t find the Washington Marriott for two hours was going to single-handedly stop a running group (coincidentally the same people from last night?) from breaching the Capitol? But wait, it gets more ridiculous:

Epps: “I wasn’t walking with anybody. I called a few people out on the way there that had megahorns — you know, megaphones that were trying to incite things and , you know, tried to get them to stop, and then we were at the Capitol.”

This is some grade-A horse shit for several reasons:

  1. Revisit the video above. Epps is the one directing people to the Capitol;
  2. He claims to have reached there in 20 minutes. No, that’s about a 35 minute walk without crowds;
  3. He admits that despite flying to Washington to protect his son, he was once again separated from his son at this point – “I don’t know where they were.” [Page 45]

And again, do remember, this is the guy who took two hours to find the Washington Marriott, suddenly managing to sprint through a heaving crowd, to the Capitol, take a wicked whizz (see screenshot), and call “a few people out on the way,” all within 20 minutes.

Impressive.

SuperEpps!

But wait, there’s more!

On page 46 we are treated to some real Ray Epps gold.

He’s asked: “You said you wanted to get out in front… but what were you trying to get out in front of as you started walking to the Capitol?”

Epps: “Well, there’s a few different reasons. One, we were freezing our butts off. It was cold out. If we were going to get in the Capitol, I wanted it to be inside. My son since has referenced the same thing. We weren’t dressed properly for it.”

Remember – this is MR. ALWAYS PREPARED we’re talking about. The guy with the tourniquets, whose wife sent him to protect their precious boy. He says he wanted to get inside the Capitol BECAUSE HE WAS COLD.

The next part, I promise you, despite how it sounds, is not even a joke. Epps continues: “Two, I didn’t want any fighting to break out or any — you know, it going in the wrong direction. Marines are always in the front, not in the back.”

Yeah, ok Ray. Marines are always in the front. BUT NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE COLD.

Of course just when you think you cannot suspend any more disbelief on this, Rep. Kinzinger pipes in. [Writer’s note: I feel as if I have started to write satire or fiction now, but this is all real].

Kinzinger: “Mr. Epps, would you say that was a pretty high adrenaline moment, kind of, you know, a lot going on, you’re trying to take in a lot of details and act? And also was there still maybe a concern at this point in the back of your mind that there could be – and I know I keep going back to this, but there could maybe be antifa seeded throughout trying to provoke something bigger? Was that a concern?

Kinzinger, in other words, is both accidentally right about Antifa presences on Jan 6, but also attempting to allow Epps an escape from his own behavior, in his own words, being out front and inside the Capitol. Has Kinzinger metaphorically blown any other Jan 6 interviewee in such a fulsome and borderline pornographic fashion?

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9. “I Also Orchestrated It.”

This is the part so many have already zoned in on. Epps is asked: “So it looks like, around 9am, your nephew texts you… and then, at 2:12pm… you text back: ‘I was in the front with a few others. I also orchestrated it.’”

Boom. Surely? Case closed! Ray Epps admits, in writing, in his own words, in his own texts, to his own family, to “orchestrating” actions on January 6th, after dinner with a stranger, hours missing the night before, and of course the plethora of video evidence showing him personally inciting riots and criminal actions. Charge him? Surely?

But, no. For reasons we are never told, Ray Epps is both a free man and getting fellated by Adam Kinzinger.

Q: “What did you mean by “orchestrate”? What did you orchestrate?”

Epps: “I just meant that I got – you have to understand our relationship, uncle-nephew. We hunt together. We fun with each other. We do that kind of stuff. What I meant by “orchestrate,” I helped get people there.”

Wait – what? Was that Joe Biden responding? What the heck does his relationship with his nephew have to do with it? And what does “we fun with each other” mean? Or perhaps bigger, still, how does “orchestrate,” mean “help get people there,” without also meaning incitement?

Those questions will obviously be asked next by the enterprising representatives of the January 6th committee, right? WRONG.

The most Epps got back was: “I’m just trying to understand why that word ‘orchestrated’ was used because it sounds like you’re sort of adopting the whole thing, including the stuff that you were walking away from.”

Actually, it’s “the stuff” he incited, but who cares about verbiage, eh? It’s not like we’re attempting to investigate the so-called greatest attack on American soil since 9/11 or whatever else they’re calling it nowadays. This is like having Mohammad Atta on the stand and asking him if traffic to the airport was bad.

Epps equally bizarrely responds: “You would have to understand the relationship between me and my nephew. It’s just — yeah, I took credit for it, but I didn’t know what I was taking credit for.”

Right. There it is. Again. An admission. “Book him!” But again, no. Nothing. Not one attempt by the January 6th committee to actually hold someone accountable WHO ADMITTED TO BEING INVOLVED MULTIPLE TIMES.

“I shouldn’t have used that word,” Epps says on page 65.

“What’s a better word now?” he’s asked in response.

“I helped get people there.”

The reply, is, of course, incredible.

“I see. Fair enough. I appreciate that. Thank you.”

Oh that’s fair enough, is it? What about the hundreds of detainees held without charge or release and who have been treated like dogs for doing far less than Ray Epps did that day? Is it fair enough for them? Is it fair enough to the people whose lives have been irretrievably ruined by that day? Is it fair enough to history and the public record that this kabuki theatre is allowed to sail by, unridiculed, unfisked, and unabated?

10. More Strangers.

You’re 3500 words and 69 pages in, with just 500 words to read. So you might as well stick this out. Believe me this is the brief version. The full document is 25,000 words. You’re welcome!

Does the below seem odd, from a guy worried about infiltrators and trouble?

Oh, yeah: someone told me they were shooting Trump supporters so I got in a car with a random Trump supporter but also people were infiltrating and pretending to be Trump supporters and this Trump supporter didn’t know I was a Trump supporter because I had taken off my hat on account of the shooting of Trump supporters but he still agreed to drive me to my hotel which we couldn’t find. Vastly plausible.

11. ‘I’m Not Sure How You Got That’

By now you understand the importance of going through all this. The next few pages concern the text messages Epps received on the days in question. See if this line of questioning feels appropriate to you:

Q: “Mr Carver, does he work for the FBI or CIA or NSA, to your knowledge?”

Epps: “Not that I’m aware of.”

Q: “Do you recognize a Mr. Christopher Hupke?”

Epps: “This is something to do with Twitter and something to do with Twitter. I don’t know what it is. I didn’t open it and I haven’t responded.”

Q: “Thank you.”

Q: “There were two incoming text messages at around 3:52 – they actually might be the same text messages because they’re both at the exact same time – from an [REDACTED NUMBER]. You did not respond back, but do you know what this number is?”

Epps: “I do not.”

Q: “Okay.”

Q: “And then the last number where we saw outgoing and incoming texts was a [REDACTED] number. We have done our own research on this, and there has been public reporting that this sometimes shows up on people’s phone records, and it’s not a specific number for anyone. It just sometimes shows up on phone records, so —”

Epps: “I have never heard of it. I couldn’t find it on my phone either. I’m not sure how you got that.”

Do any of these seem like normal interactions over phone records, incoming calls or texts, or am I off my chump? For instance – what do you mean a number just shows up on call records? And how are these interviewers not following up on records for which Epps claims to have no further information? Not even – “Hey, well, would you mind looking into that for us and figuring out who you talked to, please?”

No, instead it’s just “K cool, no worries.”

12. “We’re Off The Record, Right?”

On page 96, the conversation comes to a close. But not without one more acutely awkward moment between Epps’s counsel and his interviewer. Enjoy:

Perhaps I’ve lost my mind. But none of Epps’s testimony rings normal to me. None of it carries the same tone as other interviews given to the January 6th committee. There’s no probing. Epps is hurried along between timelines and subjects. He offers bizarro explanations and is never pulled up on them. And more than anything: more questions are raised as a result of this interview, than those that were answered. Were any answered? Is Ray Epps still searching for the Marriott Hotel? Has he found his son yet? Is he at a local ball game in Arizona with a fanny pack loaded with gauze and breathing tubes?

Maybe we’ll find out when they admit Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy. In the meantime, there is something far more pernicious about this interview than I had even imagined when it was first quietly released. Read the whole thing for yourself, if you wish. Don’t forget to share this article, and comment below.

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