Raymond Epps, a former Arizona Marine, traveled to Washington, DC for Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021 rally and was caught on video twice, once urging protesters to go to the Capitol. His attorney, Michael Teter, said he had formally notified Fox of a potential lawsuit. In the case of Epps, Teter wrote that “fear of losing viewers by telling them the truth is neither a defense against defamation and false light, nor relieves liability in connection with claims of infliction of emotional distress.” The related press has the story:
Attorney apologizes to Fox for false allegations made on January 6th
News Looks – NEW YORK (AP)
The attorney for a former supporter of former President Donald Trump implicated in a Jan. 6 conspiracy theory on Thursday demanded that Fox News and host Tucker Carlson resign and apologize for repeated “untruths” about the man’s alleged intentions.
The actions taken on behalf of Raymond Epps specifically mention a voting machine maker’s pending $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, an indication that people caught up in political conspiracy theories are fighting back.
The attorney, Michael Teter, said he had formally notified Fox of a potential lawsuit. Fox News had no immediate comment.
Epps, a former Arizona Marine, traveled to Washington, DC for Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021 rally and was caught on video twice, once urging protesters to go to the Capitol.
He was never arrested, leading some to theorize he was a government agent conducting a “false flag” operation to cause trouble that would be blamed on Trump supporters. There was no evidence that this was true, and Epps told the congressional committee investigating the attack that he had never worked for or been an informant for any government agency.
But the theory, first put forward on a conservative fringe website, spread to the more influential Fox News and Congress, and was even mentioned by Trump himself.
Epps told the New York Times last summer that threats forced him and his wife to sell their business and home and go to an undisclosed location.
“The crazies started coming out of the wood,” Epps testified before the congressional committee.
He has admitted to being caught on video on January 5, 2021 and urged protesters to go to the Capitol the next day. He said he was trying to defuse a tense situation and said the demonstration should be peaceful. He testified that what he said was “something stupid” and he regretted it.
Epps was also caught on video at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but said he did not enter the building. He was mentioned five times on Carlson’s Fox News Channel prime-time show in 2023 alone, according to a search of transcripts found in Nexis.
On March 6, Carlson said, “What was Epps doing there? We can’t say, but we know he lied to investigators.”
Last July 13, the day the Times story about Epps and his wife’s absconding was published, Carlson said he “repeatedly told people on camera to storm the Capitol.” Many people who did this are still in prison, but Epps is not. But it’s a conspiracy theory?”
In his Thursday letter to Fox, Teter requested “that Mr. Carlson and Fox News withdraw the allegation that Mr. Epps was working for the FBI or some other government agency when he attended the January 6 events and that Mr. Epps acted as an instigator or provocateur of the incident.”
He urged Carlson and Fox to issue a formal on-air apology “for the lies.”
Teter said revelations made through court filings in Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit may explain why Fox acted the way he did with his client.
Dominion has said Fox knowingly and maliciously spread lies that it was involved in voting irregularities that hurt Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Documents have revealed the suspicions many at Fox had regarding these theories, but also internal concerns about how the network might lose pro-Trump viewers who believed the false claims that the election was stolen.
Fox has said it was doing its job by covering newsworthy claims by the then-president and his allies.
In the case of Epps, Teter wrote that “fear of losing viewers by telling them the truth is neither a defense against defamation and false light, nor relieves liability in connection with claims of infliction of emotional distress.”
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