The House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection on Tuesday formally debunked the right-wing conspiracy theory that Jan. 6 protester Ray Epps was an FBI informant, which had been pushed as recently as hours earlier by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
"The Select Committee is aware of unsupported claims that Ray Epps was an FBI informant based on the fact that he was on the FBI Wanted list and then was removed from that list without being charged," the committee wrote on Twitter. "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."
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a member of the committee, added: "One more @tedcruz conspiracy down. Ray Epps has cooperated and is nothing but a Jan 6 protest attendee, in his own words. Sorry crazies, it ain’t true."
PolitiFact also recently addressed the claim that Epps was an FBI informant. Epps, a former president of the Arizona Oath Keepers, was seen on video on Jan. 5 and 6 urging others to enter the Capitol "peacefully."
"Epps’ image was at one point included on the FBI Capitol Violence most wanted list, a website that seeks the public's help in identifying people involved in the riot," PolitiFact reported, adding that because the FBI removed Epps' image in July, right-wing news outlets began to claim that the government was attempting to erase his name from the insurrection.
"But it could also merely confirm that the FBI is no longer seeking help in locating him," Poiltifact reported. "Other explanations for its removal include the possibility that Epps may have already been interviewed by investigators. ... Epps never appears to have entered the Capitol or engaged in violence as many of the more than 600 others facing charges did. "
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