Ray Epps was charged with one misdemeanor count of “Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(2)” according to a charging document filed on Monday and made public on Tuesday.
Signed by United States Attorney Matthew Graves, the charging document is brief in its explanation:
On or about January 6, 2021, within the District of Columbia, JAMES RAY EPPS, SR. did knowingly, and with intent to impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, engage in disorderly and disruptive conduct in and within such proximity to, a restricted building and grounds—that is, any posted, cordoned-off, and otherwise restricted area within the United States Capitol and its grounds, where the Vice President was and would be temporarily visiting—when and so that such conduct did in fact impede and disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business and official functions, and attempted and conspired to do so.
As NBC News noted, Epps previously testified to the now-defunct January 6 Committee that he’d traveled to the nation’s capital as a Trump supporter in January 2021 and that “the conspiracy theories that followed had torn his life apart.”
“I never intended to break the law,” Epps said.
“It’s not in my DNA. I’ve never — I’m sure you’ve looked up my record. I don’t break the law.”
“He was charged by information, which suggests that he plans to enter a plea deal,” NBC News added.
Video from the events leading up to and on January 6, 2021 showed Epps being insistent with Trump supporters that “we need to go into the Capitol” and — in new just-released video — subsequently on the front lines of the crowd that breached the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol.
The one charge for Epps is in contrast to other January 6 defendants who now face multiple counts with many facing or receiving significant multi-year prison sentences.
EXCLUIVE: Never before released J6 video captures Ray Epps (and others) amidst the violent conflict at the police line on the West Plaza
This is near the Media Tower, apparently before Epps helped push the large metal sign into this police line pic.twitter.com/NoMFKNv58F
— Stephen Horn (@stephenehorn) September 19, 2023