‘60 Minutes’ Segment with Jan. 6 Protestor Ray Epps Invites Further Skepticism From Pundits, Politicians

YouTuber Viva Frei: ‘Either Ray Epps gets treated like the rest of the January 6 defendants, or the rest of the January 6 defendants get treated like Ray Epps’

A 60 Minutes segment focusing on Ray Epps, a January 6 protestor who has been persistently accused of being an agent provocateur on behalf of the federal government, has sparked further skepticism from U.S. politicians and online pundits.

The segment, which aired on CBS Sunday evening, features the first sit-down interview with Epps and his wife, Robyn, who said they’ve been in hiding since “a full-fledged conspiracy theory, casting him as a government agent who incited an insurrection,” resulted in “death threats [that] forced him to sell his home,” the outlet reported. 

“I have a hard time, being a man, being a Marine, being on the run,” Epps said. “I had to do the necessary things to keep my family safe.”

“It’s so sad what people have done to Ray, and to us, and to our lives,” Robyn said. “Sometimes I’ve used my maiden name just so that we don’t call attention.”

The report cites broadcasts from Tucker Carlson, investigative series from Revolver News, and comments from U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Thomas Massie as instances of a “convoluted conspiracy theory” spread about Epps. 

The 6-foot-4 veteran indicated that these accusations will not die down. Regarding Tucker Carlson, the former Oath Keepers member said, “He’s obsessed with me. He’s going to any means possible to destroy my life and our lives.” 

When CBS’ Bill Whitaker asked why, Epps replied: “To shift blame on somebody else. If you look at it, Fox News, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, Gaetz, they’re all tellin’ us before this thing that it was stolen. So you tell me, who has more impact on people, them or me?”

In a Dec. 29, 2022 print interview with NBC News, Epps lodged similar criticisms of the same lawmakers.

“[Massie] and, gosh, Gaetz and Greene, and, yeah, they’re just blowing this thing up,” he said at the time. “So it got really, really difficult after that. The crazies started coming out of the woodwork.”

The lawmakers questioned why Epps had not been arrested after video surfaced of him instructing fellow demonstrators to enter the Capitol.

“Tomorrow, we need to go into the Capitol,” Epps told a crowd in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5. 

A number of those surrounding Epps in the video respond by shouting “No!” — to which Epps clarifies, saying, “Peacefully!” before being shouting down by a chant of “Fed! Fed! Fed!”

“We are going to the Capitol, where our problems are!” he told protestors on Jan. 6. “It’s that direction! Please spread the word!” 

When asked by CBS what he was thinking when he directed protestors to go into the Capital, Epps said, “I said some stupid things. My thought process, we surround the Capitol, we get all the people there. I mean, I had problems with the election. It was my duty as an American to peacefully protest, along with anybody else that wanted to.”

Epps denied that anyone from the federal government, FBI or the Oath Keepers directed him to the Peace Circle in D.C. 

He claims that, upon his return to his then-home in Arizona, he learned that he appeared on an FBI poster as a rioter from whom the agency was seeking information. 

“We literally hung up the phone and walked right into the house, sat down and called the FBI,” Robyn recalled. 

“So when we met with the FBI [two months later], I mean, it was like, ‘Finally. We’re gonna clear this up,’” Epps said. “There was no, ‘I take the Fifth.’ There was none of that. It was just like we’re talkin’ right now. I went through everything. And they had a lotta questions.”

That summer, Epps’ photo was removed from the FBI’s website. When the Daily Mail approached him with questions regarding allegations regarding his affiliation with federal officials in late 2021, Epps refused to answer and told reporters more than once, “Get off my property.”

Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the D.C. think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies who aided the January 6th Committee in writing their final report, told 60 Minutes that Epps was deemed not important enough to be included in the report. 

“The idea that he’s leading the charge or really orchestrating it is just contradicted by this mountain range of evidence,” he said. “And that’s what the conspiracy theorists want you to do, right? They don’t want you to look at this mountain range of evidence. They want you to turn around and focus on this pebble on the ground named Ray Epps.”

In a statement to CBS, the FBI said, “Ray Epps has never been an FBI source or an FBI employee.”

The latest revelations Epps divulged during the 60 Minutes interview have drawn a new wave of doubts and more questions from an array of online pundits and politicians. 

“Ray Epps is the only person I’ve seen on video January 5th and January 6th urging and directing people to go into the Capitol,” Massie wrote. “In a text message on January 6th he bragged that he orchestrated it. Why do democrats and the media portray him as the victim? So bizarre.”

“There are people rotting in jail and still being arrested daily, but Ray Epps is not in jail,” Greene tweeted. “I would also like to know who videoed Ray Epps all day on J6? Why is there so much video of him specifically?”

Libertarian podcaster Clint Russell deemed the coverage “an op.”

“Forget the fact that Ray Epps is on tape telling people that they needed to go into the capitol,” he wrote. “Just assume he’s a Trump supporter and nothing more[.] Then ask yourself when is the last time you saw 60 minutes or the NY Times running defense for any Trump supporters.”

“Either Ray Epps gets treated like the rest of the January 6 defendants, or the rest of the January 6 defendants get treated like Ray Epps. It’s not complicated,” tweeted Canadian YouTuber and lawyer Viva Frei. “Unless there is something the January 6 committee knows about Ray Epps that they haven’t disclosed to the public…”

Conservative podcaster Liz Wheeler speculated that Epps may have some form of immunity deal with federal officials. 

“There’s NO other reason why his face was on FBI most wanted posters after Jan 6 & why other men who did the same thing were convicted, but not Epps,” she wrote. “Either he’s a fed or compromised by feds (ie. turned over names & texts). Like, duh.”

*For corrections please email [email protected]*