Jan. 6 suspect Ray Epps, who was seen trying to egg on protesters ahead of the Capitol riot, is slated to sit for a transcribed interview Friday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee tasked with investigating the federal breach.
Politico reported that an attorney representing Epps confirmed Friday's event in a phone interview as skeptics continue to speculate that the FBI orchestrated the Capitol breach. Epps, an alleged "fed-protected provocateur," was captured on tape encouraging others to enter the Capitol and then disappeared without explanation from the FBI's Most Wanted List last summer, Revolver reported.
Epps, who's at the center of the Jan. 6 theories firestorm, had an informal meeting with the panel back in November, maintaining at the time that he had no relationship with the FBI or any other federal law enforcement agency.
However, the November meeting was just a precursor to a more-formal transcribed interview, Epps lawyer John Blischak said, according to Politico.
Blischak said that he expected more details of his client's involvement to become public soon afterwards. Blischak told Politico that part of the reason Epps was removed from the FBI's high-profile Jan. 6 suspect list six months after the riot was because he was no longer an unidentified suspect. Rather, he called the FBI on Jan. 8 and "explained his position" after a relative informed Epps that he had been the subject of news reporting related to the Jan. 6 riot, Blischak said.
The list contains video and photo evidence of Jan. 6 rioters who were caught on camera in the crowd but who have not yet been identified or tracked by the federal bureau, Politico reported. Blischak said he had no knowledge about why it took several months for the FBI to make the database removal.
Epps was also seen in footage just before 1 pm on Jan. 6 at the front of a line of Trump supporters among the first to breach the Capitol barricades. He was spotted whispering into Jan. 6 defendant Ryan Samsel's ear. Samsel has since been charged as one of the initial Jan. 6 suspects to breach secured Capitol grounds.
"This means @AdamKinzinger lied," Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec tweeted, blasting anti-Trump Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) who has joined Pelosi's posse. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also slammed Kinzinger in recent days for appearing to withhold "critical information" about Epps.
"[Epps] didn't enter the Capitol on Jan 6, and was removed from the most wanted list because apparently he broke no laws. I'm pretty sure the FBI wouldn't be dumb enough to put their own agent on a wanted list. Ray Epps has cooperated with the Jan 6 committee and we thank him," Kinzinger had tweeted on Jan. 11.
"So the definitive statements made by Adam Kinzinger swallowed by the media about how Ray Epps never worked with FBI were based not no sworn testimony but just 'informal meetings' with the Committee, and the denial was confined just to FBI, not all government agencies? LOL," journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.
"As always: don't let the Ray Epps case distract from this crucial fact: more than one year after 1/6 - with DOJ conducting what it says is its largest investigation ever and a parallel investigation in Congress - they all refuse to say how many FBI informants/agents participated," Greenwald added in the Twitter thread.
At the Save America rally in Florence, Arizona, former President Donald Trump mentioned Epps by name Saturday evening, demanding answers about Epps and questioning how many federal informants were present at the Capitol.
"How about the one guy?" Trump asked, also mimicking Epps on Jan. 6. "Nothing happens to him. What happened with him? Nothing happens."