Feds want jail for Trump voter in Jan. 6 ‘false flag’ claim

Left: Ray Epps is seen talking with accused Jan. 6 rioter and Proud Boys member Ryan Samsel near the Peace Circle monument (via FBI court filing). Right: Epps is seen talking to another person in the crowd outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 (via police body camera footage/YouTube CBS News screengrab).

Federal prosecutors want the Arizona man at the center of a disproven right-wing conspiracy theory about the forces behind the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — and who himself allegedly continues to amplify baseless rumors about suspected rioters — to spend months behind bars.

The government notes that James Ray Epps Sr., 62, is in several ways a victim and a target of the fervor of supporters of former president Donald Trump, but participated in the destruction that day when thousands of them descended on the Capitol as Congress was set to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win. Prosecutors say he should spend six months in jail — the statutory maximum for the disorderly conduct misdemeanor to which he pleaded guilty — followed by one year of supervised release.

Epps has agreed to pay $500 in restitution toward the nearly $3 million in damage caused to the Capitol, the government says.


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