Fed Prosecutors Give Recommendation In Epps Case
In a move that is sure to stir up controversy, federal prosecutors are seeking a hefty sentence for Ray Epps, a man who appeared to encourage individuals to enter the Capitol during the Jan. 6th riot. Epps, who was caught on video egging on protestors and instructing them to go inside the Capitol building, is facing a recommended sentence of six months in jail.
According to a sentencing memo submitted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Epps’ actions on Jan. 6th and the previous day warrant a severe punishment. The memo argues that Epps participated in felonious conduct during the riot and was among the group of rioters who overwhelmed Capitol police.
The prosecutors cite a specific incident in which Epps was seen pushing a metal sign into a line of police officers and then later participating in a “rugby scrum-like” effort to break through the defensive line. They also note that Epps was present during former President Donald Trump’s speech at the rally and left in the middle to walk towards the Capitol building.
However, the memo also acknowledges that Epps’ case is “unique” in the context of the January 6th defendants. The government claims that Epps has demonstrated “distinctive and compelling mitigating factors,” which led them to offer him a pre-indictment misdemeanor plea deal.
One of the main factors cited by the prosecution is Epps’ alleged cooperation with federal authorities and his expression of remorse for his actions. The memo also mentions the widespread speculation surrounding Epps, suggesting he may have been an undercover federal agent due to his presence among the rioters and his inflammatory statements encouraging protestors to enter the Capitol.
The footage of Epps’ presence on Jan. 5th has fueled this theory, as he can be seen firing up demonstrators and instructing them to go inside the Capitol the following day. The memo includes a screenshot of this live stream footage as well as Epps’ statement, “Tomorrow, we need to go IN to the Capitol. IN to the Capitol. Peacefully,” which was captured by another Jan. 6th defendant.
Epps has not been indicted for over two years following the Capitol attack, prompting many to question why he has not faced charges until now. In a defamation lawsuit against Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson, Epps claimed that the DOJ informed him in May that he would be charged and blamed Fox News for their decision.
It is worth noting that the DOJ has faced significant criticism for their handling of the Jan. 6th investigations, with many questioning the unequal treatment of defendants and the seemingly selective prosecution of certain individuals.
The DOJ portal shows that over 1,200 individuals have been charged in the nearly three years since the Capitol riot took place, with approximately 700 of those pleading guilty to federal charges. Of those, over 500 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors. Epps, however, is not one of them and now faces a potential six months in jail.
The sentencing memo does not make it clear why the government has chosen to offer Epps a plea deal for his cooperation, yet still recommends a significant jail sentence. The controversy surrounding Epps’ case will undoubtedly continue, especially with the possibility of him being an undercover federal agent involved in the events of Jan. 6th.
As the DOJ continues to prosecute those involved in the Capitol riot, the case of Ray Epps stands out as one of the most intriguing and divisive. With his alleged attempts to incite rioters and his presence among them, Epps has become a symbol of the chaos and lawlessness that occurred on that fateful day in January. Now, as he faces the potential consequences of his actions, the nation will be eagerly watching to see how justice will be served.