Republicans Question The DOJ And FBI About Ray Epps And Agents In “Plainclothes” On Jan 6

Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Tom Cotton push to get answers from top officials in the FBI and DOJ about their agencies’ knowledge on whether bureau informants were represented in “plainclothes” at the January 6 protest – with both men asking about a man highlighted in our previous reporting named Ray Epps.

Ted Cruz unsuccessfully questioned the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch, Jill Sanborn. Sanborn was asked a range of questions regarding the FBI and its direct involvement at the Capitol on January 6 but didn’t have answers.

“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6?” asked Senator Ted Cruz.

“I can’t go into specifics of sources and methods,” Sanborn responded.

The FBI, being paid for by the American taxpayer, is beholden to Congressional oversight. Instead of answering the questions, she repeated the response: “I can’t answer that.”

Cruz went on to ask about Ray Epps, a suspect removed from the FBI’s Capitol Violence Most Wanted list without an explanation despite being recorded encouraging protestors to enter and take over the Capitol.

“Who is Ray Epps?” Cruz asked.

Sanborn admitted to being “aware of the individual” but said she lacked Ray Epps’s “specific background.”

Cruz said due to Epp’s encouraging people to “get into the Capitol” on January 6, “there are a lot of people who are understandably very concerned about Mr. Epps. This was strange behavior, so strange that the crowd began chanting ‘Fed, fed, fed, fed, fed.’ ”

“Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed?” asked Cruz.

Sanborn repeated, “I can’t answer that.”

Senator Tom Cotton picked up with Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen, where Senator Ted Cruz left off with FBI Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch Jill Sanborn.

Much like Cruz’s questioning of Sanborn, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen had little to say except that he also wasn’t going to be answering questions regarding the federal government’s involvement on January 6.

Senator Cotton asked several “basic” questions about the FBI’s activity on January 6 only to receive the response of: “I don’t know,” forcing the Senator to ask Assistant AG Olsen if he had prepared for the hearing at all as he seemingly “didn’t know” anything.

Sen. Cotton moved on pressing Assistant AG Olsen on the bizarre tale of Ray Epps.

Sen. Cotton:

“During the January 6 riots last year, Mr. Epps was caught on video several times. He seemed to encourage people to enter the Capitol, to break down police barriers. The video from the rally down by the National Mall earlier that day shows him doing the same thing.

“Video, even from the night before, shows him encouraging people to enter the Capitol. Ray Epps lives in Arizona. He didn’t exactly go underground after January 6 – even gave an interview to the local media.

“He was well known in the Department of Justice. He was on the FBI’s Capitol Riot Most Wanted page just days after Jan. 6. In fact, he was one of the first 16 suspects added to that Most Wanted page on your website.

“It does not appear he was arrested or charged with any offense. In July, without explanation, he was removed from the FBI’s Most Wanted page.

“Mr. Olsen, who is Ray Epps and why was he removed from the FBI’s Most Wanted List?”

Assistant AG Olsen:

“Senator, I don’t have any information on that individual. I would defer you to Ms. Sanborn.”

Sen. Cotton:

“You’re the assistant attorney general for national security. You run the National Security Division. The department has said that these Jan. 6 prosecutions are one of their highest priorities. This is a man who was on the Most Wanted page for six months. Do you really, do you really expect us to believe that you’ve never heard of the name Ray Epps? You don’t know anything about him.”

Assistant AG Olsen:

“I simply don’t have any information at all about that individual.”

Senator Cotton was furious at the appearance Olsen was unprepared or unwilling to answer questions on the federal government’s involvement on January 6.

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