The FBI's National Security branch assistant director said she could not answer Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s question about whether Jan. 6, 2021 provocateur Ray Epps was a federal asset.
Asked by Cruz during Congressional questioning on Tuesday “Who is Ray Epps,” Jill Sanborn replied, “I am aware of the individual, sir, uh, I don’t have the specific background of him.”
After showing video of Epps urging protesters on both Jan. 5 and Jan.6 to enter the U.S. Capitol, Cruz said: “This was strange behavior, so strange that the crowd started chanting ‘fed, fed, fed.’ Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed? How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn responded.
Related: Who is Ray Epps and why has the FBI protected him?, October 27, 2021
Cruz noted: “A lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal and violent conduct on January 6. This is not an ordinary law enforcement question, this is about public accountability. Did federal agents or those in service of federal agents actively encourage violent and criminal conduct on January 6?”
“Not to my knowledge, sir,” Sanborn replied.
[Update: The Jan. 6th Committee posted a tweet on Jan. 11, claiming: "The Committee has interviewed Epps. Epps informed us that he was not employed by, working with, or acting at the direction of any law enforcement agency on Jan 5th or 6th or at any other time, & that he has never been an informant for the FBI or any other law enforcement agency."]
[Kane at Citizen Free Press noted: "Twitter has created a special trending hashtag for Ray Epps to make sure everyone knows he doesn’t work for the FBI. Sounds like we are right over the target.]
Sanborn also had no answer when Cruz asked why Epps was removed from the FBI's Jan. 6 wanted list.
Senator @tedcruz's Full Questioning Of The FBI At Senate Judiciary Hearing Today About Whether There Were FBI Informants Present On January 6th And Ray Epps"How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?" "Who is Ray Epps?" pic.twitter.com/Haufq3kym2 — The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 11, 2022
WorldTribune.com reported in October that the FBI had removed Epps from its Capitol Violence Most Wanted List on July 1, one day after Revolver News exposed the inexplicable and puzzlesome FBI protection of known Epps associate and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes.
Epps was prominent in a video which Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie showed during congressional testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland in October. Massie’s line of questioning left Garland stammering. Ultimately, the attorney general refused to comment on the video.
Massie: “As far as we can determine, the individual who was saying he’ll probably go to jail, he’ll probably be arrested, but they need to go into the Capitol the next day, is then directing people into the Capitol the next day, is then the next day directing people to the Capitol. And as far as we can find. You said this is one of the most sweeping in history. Have you seen that video, or those frames from that video?”
Garland: “So as I said at the outset, one of the norms of the Justice Department is to not comment on pending investigations, and particularly not to comment on particular scenes or particular individuals.”
Massie: “I was hoping today to give you an opportunity to put to rest the concerns that people have that there were federal agents or assets of the federal government present on January 5 and January 6. Can you tell us, without talking about particular incidents or particular videos, how many agents or assets of the federal government were present on January 6, whether they agitated to go into the Capitol, and if any of them did?”
Garland: “So I’m not going to violate this norm of, uh, of, of, of, the rule of law. [Looks down and away] I’m not going to comment on an investigation that’s ongoing.”