Pro-Trump Protester Ray Epps Seeks Retraction Of Tucker Carlson Conspiracy Theory

An Arizona man at the center of a right-wing conspiracy theory about the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol on Thursday called on Fox News host Tucker Carlson to publicly retract his «false and defamatory statements» alleging who was secretly working with the federal government during the attack.

Ray Epps became the target of far-right allegations that he was working with the federal government and seeking violence during the attack on the Capitol.

in a letter Speaking to Carlson and Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar, Michael Teter, Epps’ attorney, said the Fox News anchor «persists in his assault on the truth» by pushing «fantasy ideas» about Epps’ involvement in the attack on the Capitol that have been «demonstrably (and have already been shown to be) false.»

Teter demanded that Carlson and Fox News publicly retract the claim that Epps was working for the federal government during the events of January 6, 2021, and the claim that Epps “acted as an instigator or provocateur of the insurrection.”

“We hope you spend as much airtime retracting these falsehoods as you did amplifying them,” Teter wrote. «In addition, Mr. Carlson and Fox News must issue a formal on-air apology for the lies he has spread about Mr. Epps.»

Teter said Epps and his wife have been «subjected to threats, intimidation and harassment, resulting in significant financial and emotional harm» as a result of Carlson and other Fox News hosts promoting the conspiracy theory.

Teter noted that Carlson and other Fox News officials are currently under scrutiny over Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network. Dominion, which sued Fox in March 2021, accuses the network of defamation and alleges it pushed conspiracy theories it knew to be false, including that Dominion’s equipment was used to rig the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden.

Arguments in the Dominion case were heard in hearings this week on dueling motions seeking pretrial rulings. A judge will soon decide which part of Dominion’s case will go to a jury next month.

“Recent revelations from the Dominion Voting lawsuit may help explain why Fox News has allowed falsehoods about Mr. Epps to continue to spread and amplify through its network,” Teter wrote. «But the fear of losing viewers by telling them the truth is not a defense against slander and false light.»

A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

Epps was seen on video the night of January 5, 2021 asking other people to «enter the Capitol» the next day before others began chanting «Fed, Fed, Fed» to him. In a Jan. 6 video, Epps yelled to those nearby: “Okay folks, spread the word! As soon as the president is done speaking, we will go to the Capitol. The Capitol is this address”, PolitiFact reported.

The video gained significant attention among some prominent conservatives in Congress. In addition to being reported on Fox News, the Epps conspiracy theory was featured in right-wing outlets including One America News and Carlson’s January 6 documentary series «Patriot Purge.»

The House committee that investigated the attack on the Capitol in the last Congress dismissed the Epps conspiracy theory. Last year, the panel said Epps told committee members in an interview that he was not a federal agent.

Epps also told the committee that the «crazy» conspiracy theories he’s been targeted with have wrecked his life. He said he received death threats, his business was affected, people showed up at his house and his grandchildren were being «harassed at school» because of the allegations.

“We had a tour bus go through our house and our business with all these crazy people inside,” Epps said in an interview with the committee on Jan. 6. “There are good people out there who were in Washington. Those are not the people who come to our house. This attracts, when they do this kind of thing, it attracts all the crazy people.