Ray Epps, who was seen during the Jan. 6 Capitol protests urging people to push past police into the Capitol building yet was never arrested, has filed a lawsuit against Fox News for spreading supposed “disinformation.”
The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in Delaware, which appears to be a strategic decision as it is the same court where Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News — and the network ended up settling with Dominion for $787 million.
In the lawsuit, Epps cites assertions by Fox News hosts that he was a federal agent — claims made by many on the right in response to the fact that he had not been arrested or charged with any crimes despite being the only person caught on camera during the January 6 Capitol protests directly instigating the crowd into pushing past police into the Capitol.
“I’ll say it. We need to go into the Capitol,” Epps says in one clip.
The 62-year-old Marine veteran is heard at least four times on video repeating his call to action to “go into the Capitol.”
While a significant number of people who listened to Epps have been arrested, charged or even held for years in a Washington, D.C., jail without charge or trial, Epps himself was never charged with any crimes — even though his actions were worse than the actions of many who were charged.
Due to the obvious instigation by Epps, who even joined in when protesters pushed over the first barrier in front of the Capitol building, people began questioning why he was not charged or arrested. Theories began to emerge that Epps was a federal agent sent in to provoke bad behavior among the crowd, while others asserted that he had been a cooperating witness in getting his fellow protesters charged and thus escaped his own charges.
Several Fox News hosts, including since-fired host Tucker Carlson, are named in Epps’ lawsuit because they brought up these questions and explored the possibility that he was a federal agent.
“In the aftermath of the events of January 6th, Fox News searched for a scapegoat to blame other than Donald Trump or the Republican Party,” the lawsuit states. “Eventually, they turned on one of their own.”
The lawsuit goes on to blame Carlson, who talked about Epps in several segments on his since-canceled Fox News show, stating that he “was bluntly telling his viewers that it was a fact that Epps was a government informant. And they believed him.”
However, Carlson was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit — with Epps’ lawyer Michael Teter explaining that Carlson “was an employee of Fox when he lied about Ray, and Fox broadcast those defamatory falsehoods.”
“Fox is therefore fully liable for Mr. Carlson’s statements,” the lawyer added.
Curiously, the lawsuit also claims that Epps was finally charged recently for his role in the protests — though it doesn’t specify any of the charges against him. However, Epps does blame Fox News and Carlson for his charges.
“Finally, in May 2023, the Department of Justice notified Epps that it would seek to charge him criminally for events on January 6, 2021—two-and-a-half years later,” the lawsuit states. “The relentless attacks by Fox and Mr. Carlson and the resulting political pressure likely resulted in the criminal charges.”