By Corinne Murdock |
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee rejected a resolution requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ) to turn over records on federal agents or assets that encouraged protesters to enter the Capitol on January 6.
The original version of the resolution, introduced by Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) last Friday, focused solely on Ray Epps, an Arizona man and former Oath Keeper leader accused of working as a federal informant. During Wednesday’s hearing, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY-04) amended the resolution to focus on federal involvement.
While Republicans urged transparency concerning Epps’ involvement, Democrats claimed ignorance or avoidance of the topic. Aside from Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), who called Epps a “poor schmuck” being demonized by his own party, Democrats focused on expressing disdain for Republican characterizations of the January 6 riot.
Massie urged the committee to pass the resolution, noting that the Biden administration hasn’t been completely transparent about Epps. He declared that the DOJ’s lack of interest in Epps defied logic, especially since the Biden administration prosecuted all other January 6 rioters and launched a formal committee to investigate the riot.
Massie showed multiple video clips of Epps telling protesters on January 5 and 6 to “go into the Capitol.” Massie stated that Epps is the only person on video telling protestors to go into the Capitol, noting that the first breach of the Capitol grounds occurred directly after Epps whispered into one of the trespasser’s ears.
Massie recounted investigative reporters’ details of the FBI’s action or inaction concerning Epps. This included the Revolver News reports (first and second) that the FBI listed Epps initially on their Most Wanted page for January 6 rioters, but later removed him without explanation. This also included Epoch Times reports (first and second) that Epps was the only protestor that had a premonition of the pipe bombs discovered on January 6. Additionally, this included New York Times reporting on Epps’ alleged text messages to his nephew admitting that he helped people breach the Capitol.
“[Epps’ involvement is] easily proven false if they would release this information. If the federal government would tell us, point-blank, no uncertain terms, under oath, not some staffer, not some statement released on some hearsay, not by leaking it to the New York Times, not by trying to soften the blow by putting things out in the press, just come here and tell us,” said Massie.
Massie rejected the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6 (January 6 Committee) assessment of Epps. In January, the committee revealed that Epps told them that he wasn’t working with or for any law enforcement agency on or before January 6. According to Massie, the committee promised to release a transcript of their interview with Epps. They haven’t.
Congressman Dan Bishop (R-NC-09) remarked that there are different standards of justice for Republicans versus Democrats: former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents versus Hillary Clinton’s emails, the months of Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots nationwide in 2020 versus the single afternoon of rioting last January.
“[M]any Americans believe there is a dual standard of justice in the country,” said Bishop. “Nothing reinforces Americans’ sense of a dual standard of justice more than the vehement embrace by Democrats of unequal consequences for like conduct. And it is done all the time.”
Watch the full debate on the resolution below: