Ray Epps, one of the most recognizable “insurrectionists” on January 6, is now suing Fox News for defamation. Reports suggest that lawyers representing Epps and his wife are gearing up to take Fox News to court over what they describe as “defamatory” coverage of the events of that day.
Epps has been a central figure in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Video from that day shows Epps convincing rioters to gather around a giant Trump sign and use it as a shield to breach police barricades. He was also seen wearing a MAGA hat and calling out to the crowd, seemingly encouraging further insurrection.
In the aftermath of the riot, Fox News personalities, including host Tucker Carlson, advanced the false notion that the attack was instigated by anti-Trump actors within the government. This has been debunked by the FBI, which identified all of the suspects responsible for the Capitol breach.
Epps reportedly told the FBI that he attempted to calm the crowd during the attack, but Fox News has yet to issue an on-air apology or retraction. In response, Epps said that if no apology was made, he and his wife would pursue “all available avenues to protect their rights.”
“That remains our intent,” Michael Teter, a lawyer for Epps, said of the pending lawsuit.
This is not the first time Fox News has been hit with a defamation suit. In April, the network settled a case with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million. This was in response to false statements made on Fox News programs over an extended period.
First Amendment experts point out that Epps has a strong case for defamation and is in a situation similar to the lawsuit between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems.
Unlike Dominion, in order to proceed with the case, Epps and his lawyers must prove that Carlson and Fox News had “doubts” about the validity of the claims made.
Only time will tell if Ray Epps’ lawsuit against Fox News will be successful. We will keep you updated as the case progresses.