Ray Epps, an Arizona man who has been the focus of conspiracy theories that federal agents plotted the Jan. 6 riot, reportedly told the FBI that he expected a bomb to go off near the U.S. Capitol during the preceding "Stop the Steal" rally.
Epps acknowledged during two FBI interviews last year, which were reviewed by The Epoch Times, that he trespassed on restricted Capitol grounds and urged other protesters to enter the building
The FBI has never arrested Epps, despite the confessions, nor has the Justice Department charge him with any Jan. 6-related crimes.
While the DOJ has charged more than 850 people in the Capitol riot, the federal government's lack of action, at least so far, on Epps has fueled theories that he may be working for the FBI. Epps has repeatedly denied the allegation.
On March 3, 2021, Epps told the FBI that he had a first-aid kit in his backpack during the Capitol riot because he expected a terrorist attack.
"Yeah, I thought there might be a problem. That’s why I was there," he told agents at the time during a meeting with his attorney, John Blischak, in Phoenix.
"I was afraid they were going to set off an explosion on one of the side streets," Epps seems to say in a recording obtained by Epoch. "So we tried to stay in the middle, tried to get there early, tried to stay away from the sides. And if something like that happened, I had a first-aid kit. I could help out."
Epps says he did not plan on attending the rally but told agents that he changed his mind after finding out his son, James Epps Jr., would be attending.
"I thought something would happen in D.C. I thought there might be, what do they call them, EOD, something like that?"
Epps, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former Arizona Oath Keepers leader, may have been referring to an improvised explosive device, or an IED.
"Oh, you mean like a terrorist act?" the agent asked Epps to clarify.
"Right, like a terrorist act," Epps responded.
The agents did not press Epps to elaborate further, nor did they ask about the two pipe bombs law enforcement said were placed near the Republican and Democratic party headquarters before the riot.
The FBI's Washington Field Office waited a year before publicly requesting other field offices to canvass sources for information on the incident, which remains unsolved.
Evidence obtained by Epoch shows that Epps told agents his statements urging other Trump supporters to enter the Capitol were "really stupid."
When Epps contacted the FBI on Jan. 8, 2021, he initially omitted the fact he told people "to go into the Capitol" just days prior.
"I am guilty of being there and probably trespassing," he said at the time. "But I had a reason. I was trying to calm ’em down. I wanted to be there, but I’m trying to calm ’em down. Anything I can do to help. There’s no call for that kind of behavior. I will be your witness."