Wednesday, Ray Epps, a citizen of Arizona who was present in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 during the Capitol protest, filed a defamation suit against Fox News.
Fox is accused in the lawsuit of fraudulently claiming he was a federal government undercover agent during the Capitol invasion.
“Just as Fox had focused on voting machine companies when falsely claiming a rigged election, Fox knew it needed a scapegoat for January 6th. It settled on Ray Epps and began promoting the lie that Epps was a federal agent who incited the attack on the Capitol.” the complaint states.
According to the lawsuit, former Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson devoted more than two dozen segments to Epps.
The complaint identifies Revolver reporter Darren Beattie as a “discredited conspiracy theorist” whom Carlson invited multiple times to discuss Epps on his program.
In an October 2021 appearance, Beattie told Carlson that Epps goes “repeatedly to group after group, redirecting them saying we need to go into the Capitol. … He is everywhere, he’s all around the Capitol shepherding people to go to the Capitol, where ‘our problems are.’”
“Very curiously, Ray Epps is not indicted. It doesn’t seem like the feds want him or have any interest in him — although they did,” Beattie said. “They had him for a while on their most-wanted page, until Revolver News did a report.”
Others did have concerns about Epps in response to the social media video.
During a House oversight hearing in October 2021, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican, presented Attorney General Merrick Garland with footage of a man believed to be Epps. On the video, bystanders could be heard shouting “Fed, fed, fed” in response to Epps’ appeal to enter the Capitol.
I just played this video for AG Merrick Garland. He refused to comment on how many agents or assets of the federal government were present in the crowd on Jan 5th and 6th and how many entered the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/lvd9n4mMHK
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 21, 2021
The U.K. Independent reported in January 2022 that the FBI “can’t say” who Epps is. He was No. 16 on the agency’s most-wanted list after the Jan. 6 incursion, when the Feds were attempting to identify the most-wanted individuals. However, he was taken off the list and never charged with a crime.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz questioned FBI Assistant Executive Director Jill Sanborn about Epps during her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the same month.
“Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed?” Cruz asked.
“Sir, I cannot answer that question,” Sanborn responded.
Cruz then presented photographs allegedly depicting Epps whispering to demonstrators, who subsequently tore down a barricade surrounding the Capitol.
“Did Mr. Epps urge them to tear down the barricades?” he asked.
Sanborn stated once more that she was unable to answer the query.
Cruz noted that Epps was initially among the individuals depicted on an FBI wanted notice in the days following January 6.
The senator stated that a financial reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of Epps.
Cruz noted that by July, Epps had “magically” vanished from the public posting.
Although legislators such as Massie and Cruz raised concerns about Epps, his complaint accuses Fox of acting maliciously towards him.
“Fox refused to retract, correct, or apologize for its demonstrably false and defamatory accusations against Epps well after Fox knew definitively that they were false, providing yet additional circumstantial evidence of actual malice. Fox thus broadcast its lies about Epps with a high degree of awareness of probable falsity,” the suit says.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
Further, “Fox’s portrayal of Epps has caused Epps significant damages, as a result of the false statements.” CONTINUE READING…