OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:30 PM – Tuesday, September 19, 2023
James Ray Epps, a former U.S. Marine who became the focus of January 6th conspiracy theories, has been charged with a misdemeanor offense regarding the January 6th, 2021, protest at the United States Capitol.
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors filed a criminal charge against Epps in a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. He was charged with one misdemeanor count of disruptive or disorderly conduct in a restricted area.
The charges against Epps claim that he “knowingly, and with intent to impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, engage[d] in disorderly and disruptive conduct in and within such proximity to, a restricted building and grounds—that is, any posted, cordoned-off, and otherwise restricted area within the United States Capitol and its grounds, where the Vice President was and would be temporarily visiting—when and so that such conduct did in fact impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, and attempted and conspired to do so.”
The former Marine is expected to plead guilty to the charge as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, according to an entry in the court’s docket.
His plea agreement hearing is reportedly scheduled for Wednesday, September 20th, before Chief Judge James Boasberg.
Epps, an Arizona native, was involved in the protests at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021. He eventually became the center of conspiracy theories in connection to former President Donald Trump and his allies, which accused him of being an FBI informant.
The former Marine claimed that he never entered the United States Capitol building and that there is no evidence to show that he did. Therefore, Epps has been placed in a group of over 1,100 defendants who are currently facing criminal charges simply for being on Capitol grounds that day.
Epps was spotted in a video from January 5th, 2021, encouraging the crowds and calling on protestors to “go into the Capitol,” even though he immediately added that it should be done “peacefully.” The next day, he appeared at the U.S. Capitol again and was allegedly at the center of a group who broke through the barricades.
According to video footage, the protestors had pushed a huge Trump sign into the police line, but the clip indicates that Epps tried to defuse the situation.
The former Marine was accused by Fox News of being a federal government agent who was stirring up trouble that would be blamed on Trump supporters, according to the lawsuit. Therefore, Epps filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox and former host Tucker Carlson for spreading conspiracy theories.
According to an interview with the January 6th committee last year, Epps claimed that he went to Washington, D.C., in January 2021 as a supporter of Trump. However, he also said that the conspiracy theories that followed the demonstration tore his life apart.
“I never intended to break the law,” Epps told the committee. “It’s not in my DNA. I’ve never — I’m sure you’ve looked up my record. I don’t break the law.”
Edward J. Ungvarsky, a lawyer for Epps, stated that the case is “filed with an anticipation of entry of a guilty plea tomorrow to the charge” and declined to comment further on the situation.
Epp’s charge could result in a maximum punishment of one year in prison.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts