The circumstances of Ray Epps and Donald Trump collide in federal courtroom | EUROtoday

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Falsely believing Donald Trump’s election lies broadcast on Fox News, Ray Epps travelled from Arizona to Washington DC, rallied alongside a mob, yelled for the gang to march to the US Capitol, after which spent the following three years because the face of an ongoing conspiracy principle that, together with the felony case in opposition to him, has ruined his life.

He was a federal plant, there to entrap Trump supporters, as a part of a “deep state” plot working beneath then-President Trump’s administration to take him down, in order that the mob might be arrested and charged as political prisoners beneath a Democratic regime, so the conspiracy goes.

Epps regrets going to DC altogether. Those baseless claims have consumed his life. Harassment and violent threats focusing on him and his spouse have “fragmented our families, taken our livelihood and negatively impacted our health, both physically and mentally,” he instructed a choose final week.

In the identical constructing the place Epps acquired a sentence of 12 months of probation for a cost related to his actions on January 6, the person he voted for and whose lies impressed him to direct a mob to the seat of American democracy was telling judges that he must be immune from going through any felony costs for his personal makes an attempt to subvert the election.

Epps joined Trump loyalists in Washington DC as a result of he was amongst 1000’s of Americans who believed Mr Trump’s ongoing false narrative that the 2020 presidential election was marred with fraud. His spouse instructed a choose that Fox News was the couple’s “exclusive news channel.”

They have been sucked right into a vortex of false statements and conspiracy theories unfold by the previous president. Then they grew to become the themes. Mr Trump shared these, too.

On Tuesday morning, their circumstances collided in a federal courthouse in Washington DC.

Ray Epps is pictured among the many mob on 6 January, 2021

(Los Angeles Times through Getty Images)

Epps’s prosecution, testimony, public statements and sentencing have achieved little to curb the avalanche of evidence-free claims surrounding his household. On the three-year anniversary of the assault simply three days earlier, the previous president revived bogus claims that “antifa” and the FBI incited the mob. Immediately after Epps’s sentencing, Mr Trump’s allies fumed on-line with claims of a “fedsurrection”.

“We have suffered under the attacks of Fox News, politicians and social media and have learned how conspiracy theories can grow so quickly,” Robyn Epps wrote to the choose overseeing her husband’s case. “They did so because the media and people who are trusted lie, distort the truth and outright make up information for their own benefit or edification.”

Another letter from Epps members of the family stated he was “thrown under the bus by Fox, Trump and so many other news media for doing what he thought he should to support them.”

While Epps pleaded for leniency, the previous president sat along with his attorneys as they urged a three-judge federal appeals courtroom panel to dismiss election conspiracy costs in opposition to him on “presidential immunity” grounds. The choose overseeing his felony case has rejected the argument, and the appeals courtroom panel didn’t seem satisfied.

His false and inflated claims in regards to the election are central to the case in opposition to him. They sowed sufficient doubt amongst his supporters to assemble the lie of “stolen” and “rigged” elections that fuelled the mob whereas animating spurious and allegedly unlawful makes an attempt to overturn the outcomes.

When these “lies were exposed,” Epps instructed the choose overseeing his case, “they created a conspiracy to shift the entire blame for the insurrection on the FBI and myself as I became the face of J6.”

“The blame for the insurrection is not on the FBI. It is on those who were at the Capitol and engaged in insurrectionist activities and those who misled Americans like myself into believing the election had been stolen,” he stated.

A courtroom sketch depicts Donald Trump listening to arguments in entrance of a federal appeals courtroom panel on 9 January


On 5 January, 2021, the previous US Marine and a pacesetter of the far-right Oath Keepers militia in Arizona rallied alongside a gaggle of Trump supporters and urged them to “go to the Capitol.” The crowd chanted “fed” at him in response.

The subsequent day, he marched to the Capitol in camouflage and a purple “TRUMP” hat. Video footage captures him calling out to the mob to march to the Capitol. He repeatedly tried to defuse what was rising right into a unstable scene between rioters and legislation enforcement.

Within two days, his picture appeared on an FBI watch checklist. He turned himself in, telling brokers a narrative that has remained unchanged since: he attended what he thought was a protest, urged the gang to show exterior the Capitol, then tried to de-escalate mounting violence because the mob breached police barricades.

Prosecutors initially declined to prosecute him, citing inadequate proof that he had entered the Capitol, engaged in violence or “committed any other criminal violations,” in line with courtroom paperwork.

But his “disappearance” from FBI lists and the preliminary lack of costs solely fuelled the conspiracy principle that he was a covert federal agent. Those claims have been elevated to Tucker Carlson’s extremely watched Fox News programme, by members of Congress, and the previous president.

Epps has individually sued Carlson for defamation.

Last 12 months, Epps reached an settlement with prosecutors to plead responsible to a cost of disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing or grounds, which carries a most jail sentence of 1 12 months. Dozens of January 6 defendants have been equally charged.

His lawyer requested probation, however, in a damning sentencing memo to the choose, prosecutors pushed for six months in jail, alleging that he “engaged in felonious conduct” by encouraging the mob.

“Ray Epps has been unfairly scapegoated,” federal prosecutor Mike Gordon stated throughout a sentencing listening to on 9 January. “His life has been destroyed by conspiracy theorists eager to blame the government for the violence on January 6.”

But US District Judge James Boasberg stated his actions advantage “serious” penalties, and would have warranted jail time if not for the circumstances of his weird three-year journey by a far-right conspiratorial universe.

He stated Epps was the one January 6 defendant to face life-changing harassment and violent threats “for what you didn’t do.”