Ray Epps, the J6er who was repeatedly caught on tape urging Trump supporters to “go into the Capitol,” was sentenced Tuesday to just a year of probation for his actions during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
Last September, Epps, a former Oath Keeper from Arizona, was charged with a single misdemeanor count of disruptive or disorderly conduct in a restricted area in U.S. District Court in Washington, despite his lead role in orchestrating chaos on that day. The charge carries a maximum punishment of a year in prison.
Prosecutors had requested six months of prison time, but the judge took into consideration Epps’ alleged contrition, and apparent cooperation with “congressional investigators,” according to Politico.
In addition to the probation, Epps will have to pay $500 in restitution, and do 100 hours of community service. Epps never spent any time in jail and was allowed to attend the virtual hearing from home.
COVERUP: In a secret sentencing hearing Ray Epps was given one year of probation, $500 in restitution, and 100 hours of community service. Epps never spent an hour in jail and was allowed to attend the hearing from home.
— @amuse (@amuse) January 9, 2024
Gateway Pundit reported that Epps was initially scheduled to appear in person on Tuesday at 10 AM at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington D.C for his sentencing. Then yesterday, according to the Court Docket, the hearing was modified to a “hybrid hearing”
According to Gateway Pundit, “Epps was going to be served with the lawsuit at the courthouse during his sentencing.” Process servers were hired by the Plaintiff and Gateway Pundit reporters planned to be there to capture the moment Epps was served on video. This plan, according to the conservative news outlet “was all discussed yesterday in private phone calls.”
“Then like magic, Ray Epps’ Fairy Godmother changed his PUBLIC IN-PERSON sentencing hearing to a REMOTE TELEPHONIC sentencing hearing,” Gateway Pundit noted.
Chief Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. district court in Washington noted that “Epps knowingly joined a mob and entered a walled-off area on the day of attack—but then confessed to law enforcement, helped congressional investigators, and saw his life upended by the conspiracy theories.”
Epps’ activities at the U.S. Capitol on January 5 and 6, 2021, have led many on the right to believe he was acting as a federal informant. In addition to being caught on tape urging fellow rallygoers to enter and even “storm” the Capitol, the former Marine was among the first rioters to breach police barricades and can be seen on video agitating on the restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol for over an hour.
Anthime Gionet, also known as “Baked Alaska,” a right-wing influencer formerly associated with the “alt right,” was one of several people who filmed Epps on the evening of January 5, 2021 outside BLM Plaza as he told Trump supporters “we need to go into the Capitol!”
Gionet was interviewed in the first of a multi-part “Truth in Media” series on the January 6 riot that aired last fall.. He is the one who started the “Fed! Fed! Fed!” chant that went viral on social media.
At first, Gionet said he was amused by Epps’ exhortation to breach the Capitol, and yelled ‘let’s go!’ in response, but after he saw him repeat the line several times to different groups that night, he became convinced the “boomer” was an FBI plant and was up to no good.
The influencer told host Lara Logan that that viral moment felt “spiritual” to him at the time.
“That was the spirit moving. That was God saying ‘somethings up here. Watch out, there’s something going on.’ And that’s what I felt in my heart as a believer, truly,” he said.
Shortly before midnight, Epps took a conciliatory tone with Gionet, telling him they share a common dislike for Black Lives Matter and antifa.
“I stood ’em down myself with three Army vets in Queen Creek, Arizona,” Epps said.
“That’s where I live!” Gionet exclaimed. “Are you my neighbor?!”
After more friendly banter, Epps said “”we’re not here to fight man. He then leaned in and whispered “we’re here to storm the Capitol,” and added: “I’m not kidding.”
In Part 2 of the Truth in Media series, Gionet shared an intriguing video from a “Stop the Steal” rally in Phoenix after the 2020 election that showed Epps appearing to surveil him.
In the video, Epps can be seen pacing back and forth a short distance from Gionet.
“He looked over in his direction repeatedly,” Logan said. “By our count, 13 times. Then Epps stopped and pointed his camera right at him, snagging a photo before putting his phone down and walking away, only to emerge on camera a minute later, taking another photo [of Gionet] in the same area.”
Not long after that, he interrupted an argument Gionet was having with a counter-protester.
“We don’t want you here so skedaddle! Scram!” Gionet told the individual.
Epps came over and said “everybody’s welcome here.”
“It’s a free speech zone, so yeah,” Gionet agreed.
Epps can then be heard saying: “we’re Americans and we’re all from the country.”
Gionet told Logan that he “didn’t remember that interaction at all.”
That Epps has purportedly been the “victim of right-wing conspiracy theories” appeared to factor heavily into Boasberg’s decision to let him off easy, according to Politico.
In court papers, Epps described chilling harassment after pro-Trump media commentators suggested he could have been planted in the crowd by FBI agents to incite violence and embarrass the Trump movement: a busload of Trump supporters driving past his wedding venue during nuptial ceremonies and shouting threats, shell casings appearing on his property, and strangers telling him in person to “sleep with one eye open.” Epps said the harassment forced him and his wife to sell their business and move to another state.
Epps received death threats after Republican members of Congress and conservative media spread false claims that he was an undercover agent who helped incite the Capitol riot. Those claims were even echoed by Trump — who on Tuesday sat in the same courthouse listening to arguments in one of his own criminal cases at the same time that Epps was being sentenced.
During the sentencing hearing, even the prosecutor made a point of portraying Epps as a victim.
According to Politico, Gordon’s first sentence to the judge was “Ray Epps has been unfairly scapegoated.”
Gordon then played video of Epps telling protesters on Jan. 5 that they should go into the Capitol, and video of him moving his hands toward a large, heavy sign that later injured police officers.
Boasberg called Gordon’s evidence about that sign “somewhat equivocal,” and said the intimation that he was a leader on Jan. 6 was a “vast overstatement.” But the judge added that Epps’ decision to trespass on territory he knew was off-limits was “serious,” and may have warranted jail time without mitigating circumstances.
For Epps, though, mitigating circumstances were abundant. Boasberg told Epps he was the only Jan. 6 defendant to suffer “for what you didn’t do” — in other words, the only defendant to face threats and harassment because powerful people lied about his actions that day. Boasberg also noted Epps’ early remorse and longtime community service.
Independent journalist, Christina Radum Verix was present for the virtual sentencing hearing, and reported in a long thread on X that what she had witnessed was a “farce.”
Verix reported that the prosecutor (Gordon) praised Epps’ “de-escalation tactics” and presented a slide show defending him entitled “Attempts to De-escalate.”
The journalist also reported that Gordon claimed he’s struggled with the decision of whether to “give Epps a felony with a low sentence or a misdemeanor with a high sentence.”
Epp’s lawyer, she said, gave a novel account of his client’s behavior on the evening of Jan. 6, 2021.
Epp’s lawyer claimed people called Epps a “boomer” on January 5 when Epps was recorded on video urging rally attendees to go into the Capitol the next day. Baked Alaska and others started chanting “fed fed fed,” but Epps lawyer claimed Epps was trying to “de-escalate” and that Epps lawyer made the claim Epps “just said we should go down to the Capitol,” and claimed he never told people to go in – the government did not dispute this claim.
As Verix noted, there is ample video evidence contradicting these claims.
Epps lawyer then made a big thing about how Epps in a post J6 interview with a citizen journalist talked about what happened on J6 being “symbolic.”
His lawyer said to Epps it was just a “symbolic amplification of his voice,” to Epps.
Then Ray Epps lawyer made an ASTOUNDING ADMISSION: he claims that after reviewing footage of Epps and his conduct the government made a FORMAL DECISION IN 2021 NOT TO CHARGE EPPS WITH ANYTHING.
He then claims Epps is being unfairly treated now with the government giving him a misdemeanor show charge.
Epp’s lawyer argued that probation for him as a sentence would promote “accountability.”
Epps in his statement not only lashed out at Fox News but he lashed out at what he called the “Trump Cult,” who he blames for his conduct.
He then praised the FBI and antifa saying conclusively they had “no involvement” in January 6 and that only “angry trump supporters,” were part of the “mob.”
Epps said the 2020 election was “not stolen” and that he wants to spend the rest of his life trying to explain that to others.
He wants to speak about the “truth of the election results,” and he assured Judge Boasberg he no longer gets his information from “Fox News” and he trusts the government.
Judge Boasberg praised the government for being “balanced” in their presentation.
Judge Boasberg claimed Epps initial conduct “probably warranted jail time,” but then cited his extensive cooperation with the government, J6 farce Committee, etc and other “mitigating factors” to give Epps a sentence of 12 months probation and NO TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS.
He then called January 6 an “insurrection,” and he slammed “conspiracy theorists,” who claimed the FBI was involved. Judge Boasberg says more important than Epps conduct on January 6 was “what happened after,” and he cited Epps and his wife as “victims” of these conspiracy theories and “harassment,” which he claims is at a level he hasn’t “seen before.”
So there you have it – Epps is a “unique and complicated” case and is a “victim of widespread conspiracy theories,” totally not an FBI informant, fed or working for a contractor that contracts with the feds which is why he got this amazing sweetheart deal and praise from the government and fisa judge lol.
Addendum: forgot to add how Judge Boasberg disregarded the video played of Epps helping to push this massive Trump flag that was over 20 feet long into a line of Capitol Officers by claiming “anyone might put their hand up to protect their head if a big sign is coming.”
That was actually amazing – I’m sure no other J6 defendant got this benefit of the doubt again that contrasts the video evidence of what happened that day.
Boasberg, an Obama appointee, reportedly lamented during the hearing, “this is not an easy sentencing.”
Some sentences are tougher than others.
US district judge Trevor McFadden told Gionet at his sentencing hearing in January 2023: “You did everything you could to publicize your misconduct. You were there encouraging and participating fully in what was going on.”
On January 6, Gionet, unlike Epps, did end up going into the Capitol to peacefully livestream the chaos underway. Also unlike Epps, the social media influencer was charged a week later with misdemeanors and subjected to a traumatizing police raid.
“Twenty U.S. marshals jumped out—’get on the ground!’—guns, rifles, threw me on the ground, handcuffed me,” he recalled. “It was like they sent the whole squad over to make this big scene, wasting taxpayer money, putting me in danger—for what?!”
Gionet said that he had already offered to turn himself in through his attorney.
“That happened not just with me, but with everybody,” he noted. “I’ve heard stories of doors getting kicked down, these late night or early morning raids, the family having to go through the trauma—it’s absolutely insane.”
Gionet said he still has PTSD from the armed raid, but it didn’t end there. “The cops kept coming to my door with more charges,” he explained. He told Logan that the Biden DOJ wanted to charge him with conspiracy because he went to the J6 protest and met up with friends. Ultimately, they were unable to prove any kind of conspiracy in his case, he said.
Gionet, who served two months in prison, told Logan that he assumes he’s still being surveilled.
He said that traveling has become more complicated for him because he has been placed on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Quad S” list, meaning he has to undergo additional enhanced security screening by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the airport.
“I can’t check in online, I’ve got to go about three hours early, they have to manually call Homeland Security, treat me like a terrorist, go through every thing I own with a bomb squad—I’m not joking!—then they pat me down in every way possible, and then I get to the gate and it’s not done,” he explained. “Then they come back again, pat me down in front of everybody.”
Baked Alaska said the entire point is to humiliate an opponent of the regime.
“Really what this is is a humiliation tactic,” he told Logan. “They want to humiliate me and intimidate me in the public square.”