Jan. 6 Protester Says Tucker Carlson Is Trying To 'Destroy My Life'

"He's obsessed with me," said Ray Epps, the Jan. 6 participant scapegoated by a right-wing conspiracy theory.
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A participant in the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol has accused Fox NewsTucker Carlson of being “obsessed with me” and trying to “destroy my life.”

Ray Epps has been the target of a right-wing conspiracy theory scapegoating him for the violence that day by claiming he attended the protest as an FBI informant to provoke supporters of former President Donald Trump. Epps has not been charged in connection to the attack, as he was not seen engaging in violence and did not breach the Capitol.

Epps maintains he went to the protest to support Trump, but tried to keep the peace after things began to take a violent turn. Footage from the day supports his version of events. But after right-wing media, politicians and their followers twisted his role in the attack, he became the center of a conspiracy theory that has resulted in harassment and death threats against him and his wife.

Carlson has repeatedly brought up the conspiracy theory to his millions of viewers, prompting Epps to issue the Fox News host a cease-and-desist letter last month.

“He’s obsessed with me. He’s going to any means possible to destroy my life and our lives,” Epps said in an interview with Bill Whitaker for “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

Epps said Carlson and other purveyors of the conspiracy theory were seeking to “shift blame to somebody else.”

“If you look at it, Fox News, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, Gaetz, they’re all tellin’ us before this thing that [the election] was stolen. So you tell me, who has more impact on people, them or me?” he said.

Prominent Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Greene (Ga.), Sen. Cruz (Texas) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) have pushed the debunked Epps narrative. On Sunday, following the release of the “60 Minutes” interview, Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.) promoted the conspiracy theory again, suggesting Epps orchestrated the breach of the Capitol:

Former Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans who served on the House committee investigating the attack, hit out at Massie, writing: “I hope he sues you. You have ruined a man’s life who trusted you. You’re a sick man.”

The committee said in a statement last year that it had concluded Epps did not work with law enforcement.

Epps was hardly a bystander in the events on and leading up to Jan. 6. Videos show him on Jan. 5, 2021, urging Trump supporters to go into the Capitol. And on the day, he urged people by the Washington Monument to head to the Capitol.

“I said some stupid things,” he told Whittaker. “I had problems with the election. It was my duty as an American to peacefully protest along with anybody else that wanted to.”

Epps and his wife told “60 Minutes” that after Trump mentioned him by name at a rally, threats against them increased, forcing them to sell their Arizona home and go into hiding. They said they’re now living in an RV at an undisclosed location in the Rocky Mountains.

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