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Was the FBI involved in orchestrating Jan. 6?
Investigators began to ask this question shortly after the riot last year. It's a reasonable question given the recent claims of FBI misconduct:
- FBI agents organized a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.
- The FBI admitted that operatives were embedded within the Proud Boys on Jan 6.
- The FBI has shown partisan tendencies with its recent classification of conservative parents as threats.
The Story Starts With Stewart Rhodes
The following is based on investigative journalism by Darren Beattie’s Revolver News.
Stewart Rhodes is the founder of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group present at the Capitol protest on Jan. 6.
The Department of Justice argued that Rhodes played a significant role on Jan. 6. Despite the evidence against him, including coordinating with violent associates, wasn't charged until today, a full year after Jan 6, and only after Republican senators questioned the FBI. Meanwhile, over 700 Jan. 6 protesters with less serious involvement were arrested and charged within weeks.
Now To Ray Epps
Rhodes Was Ray Epps’ Old Boss: Back in 2011, Epps was the leader of the Arizona Oath Keepers chapter and was well acquainted with Rhodes, the national leader.
The day before: On Jan. 5, Epps encouraged others to storm the Capitol the following day within a crowd of protestors. The crowd responded by pointing at him and yelling, “fed.” There are multiple videos of him awkwardly attempting to convince random strangers to storm the Capitol throughout the day.
Linked to other provocateurs: He was also seen communicating with John Sullivan, a provocateur, who was banned from Antifa communities after they suspected him of being an undercover FBI agent provocateur. Despite inciting others to storm and damage the Capitol (and doing so himself), Sullivan also received no serious charges.
Starting the violence: At the Jan. 6 riot, Ray Epps can be seen on video coordinating with the individuals who first initiated violence at the Capitol.
He directed someone to move the police barricades and directed another who helped remove police barricades and direct protesters inside the Capitol’s restricted area. The latter is still ignored by the FBI, despite easily-identifiable photos of him. Essentially, these individuals began the chaos.
What do we know?
- The FBI had informants on Jan. 6
- Videos show that Ray Epps coordinated the Jan. 6 chaos with several others.
- Epps was removed from the FBI wanted list after being identified.
- Epps has strangely been unbothered by the Department of Justice.
FBI gets questioned: On Jan. 11, Sen. Ted Cruz pressed FBI Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch Jill Sanborn before Congress. He asked her if Ray Epps was an FBI agent and if members of the agency participated in the events of Jan. 6.
FBI Assistant Director's response: “I can’t answer that.”
Only after Republicans questioned the FBI's involvement on Jan. 6 was Rhodes finally charged, 372 days after the riot. Ray Epps remains free, but for how long?