Recently surfaced footage shows a man named Ray Epps encouraging supporters of former President Donald Trump to enter the US Capitol building on January 5, 2021. This was the night before the January 6th “riot” in Washington DC.
The video released by Truth in Media shows Epps telling the crowd gathered for a “Stop the Steal” rally that they should go into the Capitol building the next day. Some attendees reacted negatively by saying “No!” or chanting “Fed!” However, Epps continued urging them to enter the Capitol, saying they should do so “peacefully.”
The footage was captured by Anthime “Tim” Gionet, known as the conservative influencer “Baked Alaska.” Gionet livestreamed parts of the January 5th rally.
In the video, Epps is seen telling Gionet directly that “tomorrow we need to go into the Capitol.” Gionet walks away after Epps says this.
But later in the video, Epps approaches Gionet again and whispers “We’re not here to fight man. We’re here to storm the Capitol.” Gionet laughs it off.
Gionet later said this interaction felt “scripted” since Epps kept repeating the same lines about entering the Capitol.
In January 2022, Gionet was sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to parading/demonstrating in the Capitol building during the January 6th riot.
In September 2022, Epps pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly/disruptive conduct in a restricted area related to the events of January 6th.
Why was Ray Epps treated as victim by the same people who condemned almost everyone around him as a threat?
We try to answer some lingering questions about the one "election-denying-Donald Trump-supporter" the media and the government didn't seem to hate. pic.twitter.com/1u5dXtSGLv
— Truth In Media (@Truth_InMedia) November 3, 2023
Epps has denied being an informant or federal agent. He testified before the January 6th committee and did a 60 Minutes interview claiming he did not work for any law enforcement agency.
The newly released footage from January 5th shows Epps’s attempts to persuade others to enter the Capitol building before the riot occurred.