Adam Kinzinger Blows up the Jan. 6 Game Against the GOP With His Ray Epps Defense

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Today, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) grilled the executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Branch Jill Sanborn about whether the FBI had employees or informants participate in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Sanborn’s responses were not comforting. She did not deny that the FBI could have had people involved. She just said repeatedly that she couldn’t answer those questions.

Cruz also brought up the question of Ray Epps, noting that he’d encouraged people to enter the Capitol. Many people have speculated on why — when the FBI has gone after anyone within spitting distance of the Capitol — that they haven’t gone after him, and why he was initially on the FBI list but was then removed, despite no charges. Sanborn would not say when Cruz asked if Epps was a “fed.”

The Jan. 6 Committee then issued an interesting statement, claiming that Epps said he wasn’t working for the FBI and wasn’t an informant.

The FBI hadn’t commented on the question, however.

But then Rep. Adam Kinzinger (RINO-IL) weighed in, seemingly coming to the defense of “Ray.” Let’s just say that Kinzinger is not the sharpest tool in the drawer, as he didn’t even seem to realize the implication of what he was saying. Kinzinger was appointed to the Jan. 6 Committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is a Never Trumper, and has been completely in the pocket of the Democrats on the issue to try to attack Republicans over the issue.

“I know this will break some hearts,” Kinzinger declared in a tweet thread. “For a few months, people like Tucker Carlson, MTG, Gaetz, and now Cruz have been “just asking questions” about a man named Ray Epps. He was on video the day before Jan 6 saying “we’re going INTO the capitol!” The some in the crowd chanted “fed fed fed.” Why? Who knows, maybe they knew he was videoed talking about breaking into the Capitol the day before it was to happen and wanted to create distance.”

He continued:

“Regardless, he was put on the FBI wanted list, then removed,” Kinzinger continued. “Because of all of that, the conspiracy that he was an FBI agent has been gospel on the blogs and shows. -side note- this is why we have to address conspiracies not ignore them. He didn’t enter the Capitol on Jan 6, and was removed from the most wanted list because apparently he broke no laws. I’m pretty sure the FBI wouldn’t be dumb enough to put their own agent on a wanted list.”

“Ray Epps has cooperated with the Jan 6 committee and we thank him on the broader issue. Let’s say Ray was an agent (HE IS NOT), the premise is that one agent can gin up a crowd to insurrection. That isn’t saying much about the intelligence of your voters is it Ted? The rioters had formal education, owned businesses etc. they knew. An FBI informant is someone that is paid by or turned by law enforcement as they build broader cases. Informants are usually criminals that turn to save their own butt. An informant is not an agent.”

“But Ted wants you to think it is. RAY is NO informant either. The narrative on Jan 6 has been that it’s first antifa, or patriots who love their country, maybe crisis actors, def false flag operatives, or now FBI agents. Take your pick. Truth is they were rioters incited by lies. And RAY is no fed. Just another misled man.”

So, wait, isn’t this the guy who has demonized anything and everyone anywhere near the Capitol on Jan. 6? This is the guy who has gone after Republicans and President Donald Trump, blaming them for what happened even though there’s no video of any of them urging people to go into the Capitol like there is with Ray Epps.

Indeed, Kinzinger likes to skip over the fact that Trump urged people to act “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Yet he should be impeached, but Ray is just cool after inciting on video? So, by this “Ray Epps” argument, didn’t Kinzinger just blow up the whole argument that he and the Jan. 6 Committee have been trying to push against Republicans who didn’t do anything close to that? Because it sure looks like that to me. Of course, it was a bad argument to begin with, but now he just torpedoed it completely.

Kinzinger’s tweets did not go unnoticed by Republicans, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).

Here’s an old tweet of Massie’s that covers some of Epps’ actions on video, including something that Cruz spoke about — how Epps whispered to another guy in a red hat, right before that guy began pushing the barricades over.

Kinzinger seems chummy using Epps’ first name, and it’s kind of fascinating that the Committee has gone to these lengths to speak up for this guy. But whatever the status of Ray Epps, the fact remains that the FBI didn’t answer the question today as to the participation of the FBI. So obviously, there’s a truth yet to unspool there. The failure of the FBI to answer questions and the response of the Committee has people talking even more.