60 Minutes Basically Screams, 'Leave Ray Epps Alone!'

CBS’ 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker paints a bleak picture of the conspiracy theories wreaking havoc on supposed former Oath Keeper and “passionate Trump supporter” Ray Epps. According to the interview which aired Sunday night, because of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Revolver News, and the conspiracy theories surrounding Epps’ involvement as an “FBI plant” on January 6, 2021, he and his wife are in hiding, death threats “forced him” to sell their five-acre ranch in Arizona, and they are now living in an RV somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.


Cue the tiny violins.


As my colleague Bonchie wrote on Saturday:

If Epps and the federal government have an explanation for why the one guy caught on tape inciting January 6th managed to avoid even being charged while grandmas who took selfies outside were prosecuted, then let’s hear it. Instead, we continue to be treated to nonsensical assertions that Epps was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and had no ill intent, as if that offered protection for anyone else who was present.

But using the Eppses’ interview and the sole testimony of an author, researcher and “terrorism expert” brought in to corroborate 60 Minutes’ assessment that Ray Epps is just some poor, put-upon guy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, correspondent Bill Whittaker paints anyone who wants to question Epps’ complicity in the Capitol kerfuffle with the broad brush of “crazy conspiratorial nutjob.” All anyone has to do is compare Epps’ story with that of Jacob Chansley, aka the “QAnon Shaman,” to see how ridiculous Epps’ claims of targeting and persecution are.

How many of the J6 prisoners had a five-acre ranch to sell so that they could go into hiding?

How many of them have been invited onto 60 Minutes and agreed to an interview?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Yet, CBS went there anyway, because the January 6 narrative of the evil Donald Trump/MAGA attempt to “overthrow democracy” must be kept alive. Ray Epps’ role that day was, according to Whitaker, “the Marine veteran trying to take charge,” and the man who wanted to be up in the front to keep the peace.


The Eppses claim in the interview that they “relive January 6 every day of their lives.” Julie Kelly, who has done more research, coverage, and legal work for the J6 prisoners, and has brought to light the violations of their constitutional rights, had this to say about the interview:

Once again, if for no other reason other than being curious journalists, why hasn’t CBS or 60 Minutes interviewed any J6 prisoners and attempted to cover their stories? Most of these men and women did not have the luxury of being able to go into hiding. Many were SWATTED, arrested, and have been languishing in gulags for going on three years now. If the news channel (and I use that term loosely) can chase down Ray Epps, who supposedly is in hiding and in fear for his life, then give him a platform to talk about the supposed conspiracy theory that is ruining his life, then why can’t they look at others whose lives have been provably destroyed?

No doubt the fact that Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump chose to make Epps a topic of focus has something to do with it. Epps said of Carlson in the interview:


“He’s obsessed with me. He’s going to any means possible to destroy my life. To destroy our lives.”

Epps has either been largely ignored by the legacy news media or made a martyr to the vast right-wing conspiracy. Now that the January 6 Committee’s narrative is blowing apart, the legacy media is giving him victim status, especially because “MAGA politicians” have brought his name up in hearings. Using news clips of FL Rep. Matt Gaetz, GA Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, KY Rep. Thomas Massie, and TX Senator Ted Cruz, Whitaker interjects that the,

“Convoluted conspiracy made its way to Capitol Hill…”

Whitaker claimed that Ray Epps was never a part of the violence and that he never entered the Capitol. Then Whitaker asked Epps why he chose to intervene. Epps claimed his “fervor” to enter the building was a desire to play peacemaker. And according to Whitaker, the police bodycam video backs up Epps’ story.

“There was an effort to make me a scapegoat,” Epps claimed. He didn’t understand how he was “cast as the villain.”

Whitaker trotted out Tom Joscelyn, a researcher, author, and a “top terrorism expert” who helped pen the January 6th Committee’s final report. No other attempts were made to find other supposed expert testimony; instead, they found just the person who helped produce a report that is essentially not worth the paper it’s printed upon.


Joscelyn said,

“I think there were people on the hard right who were desperate for a scapegoat.”

It appears everyone got their talking points together before the interview. Interesting, that.

Joscelyn further claimed,

“If Epps was a covert plant, he’s the worst covert plant of all time.”

There are still 40,000 hours of video that the public has not seen, despite claims from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that it would be released to the public. But according to Joscelyn, the J6 Committee interviewed Ray Epps and didn’t consider him “important enough” to include in the report. Then he went on a convoluted soliloquy comparing Ray Epps to a pebble on the ground compared to the “mountain of evidence” presented by the J6 Committee that shows Epps was not complicit in the J6 kerfuffle.

60 Minutes said it reached out to the FBI for a statement, and this is what they reportedly received:

“Ray Epps has never been an FBI source or an FBI employee.”

This is the same FBI that has been planting agents in churches to gather intel against people of faith. So color us skeptical about anything they would have to say about Ray Epps’ status with their agency.


In case you missed it, here is the full CBS 60 Minutes interview. You can practically hear the violins playing in the background.

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