A recently recovered video from a “Stop the Steal” rally in Phoenix after the 2020 election shows Ray Epps appearing to surveil Anthime Gionet, also known as “Baked Alaska.”
In the second installment of Truth in Media’s series on the “curious case of Ray Epps,” host Lara Logan dug deeper into Epps’ background as an Oathkeeper in Queen Creek, Arizona, which coincidentally is the very same town Gionet is from.
Gionet/Baked Alaska is a social media influencer and self described sh-t-poster who rose to prominence during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
He was one of several people who filmed Epps on the evening of January 5, 2021 outside BLM Plaza in Washington D.C. as Epps told Trump supporters “we need to go into the Capitol!” Gionet is the one who started the “Fed! Fed! Fed!” chant that went viral on social media.
Part One of the series featured a bombshell video clip of Epps whispering to Gionet, “we’re here to storm the Capitol,” and then adding seriously: “I’m not kidding.”
“Somehow, the January 6 Select Committee, with a budget of more than 18 million dollars and over 40 staffers seemed to have missed the most revealing—some would say incriminating—thing Epps said,” Logan noted in Part 2.
Unlike Epps, Gionet was arrested about a week after January 6, and was banned from all the major social media platforms, so he was unable to share his story about Epps with the public.
When he was released from prison, Gionet said he and his followers started looking into Epps’ background. That’s when he said he discovered that Epps “used to be an Oath Keeper” and allegedly “used to be in military intelligence.”
Logan asked the influencer if he had been able to confirm that Epps had a background in military intelligence.
Gionet responded in the affirmative.
“Yes, I’ve talked to his—well, I believe so!” he replied. “I say this is ‘allegedly,’ this is what I believe. I don’t have a smoking gun per se.”
Truth in Media aired a video of an Oath Keepers event in Tucson, Arizona in 2011 which featured Epps marching side by side with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes.
“This is the organization that, according to the DOJ, led the so-called ‘insurrection,'” Logan noted. Rhodes has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the part he allegedly played in the J6 riot.
Left-wing entities like Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describe the Oath Keepers as “radical,” “anti-government” “extremists” who believe in “wild conspiracy theories.”
The FBI calls the Oath Keepers a “paramilitary organization” and a “large but loosely organized collection of militia who believe that the federal government has been coopted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights.”
The Oath Keepers describe themselves as “a nonpartisan association of current and former military, police and first responders who are upholding their oath to defend the Constitution,” Logan noted.
To learn more about the organization, Logan spoke with Kate Hilton, a former Border Patrol agent and Oath Keepers member who was at the 2011 event with Rhodes and Epps in Tucson.
At the time, Hilton said, Epps was the president of the Arizona Oath Keepers. The 70-year old told Logan there was nothing “sinister” about the organization, “unless you think the Constitution’s sinister.”
She said the group’s motto is “reach, teach and inspire” and they have held events with various groups—children’s groups, Eagle Scouts, and veterans groups—to teach about the U.S. Constitution “because that has been stopped in most schools.”
The Oath Keepers, Hilton explained, is a national organization with local chapters, and membership “exploded” during the Obama years because “a lot of people could relate to that.”
Before January 6, she said, the Oath Keepers had about 35,000 members who would step up whenever disaster hit, such as Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas in 2017.
“They’ve carried out thousands of operations, from rescue missions, to security,” Logan reported. Until January 6, according to Hilton, they’d never been charged with a single crime.
Hilton said the Oath Keepers were frequently asked to help with security for events and during times of social upheaval, such as the Michael Brown riots in Ferguson, Missouri in the summer of 2014.
She told Logan that the Oath Keepers offered their services for free. “Everything was volunteer,” she said.
Hilton said shop keepers in Ferguson—most of whom happened to be black—asked for their help because so many businesses were being looted and/or burned down during the riots.
Logan pointed out that the corporate media’s description of the Oath Keepers as a “white supremacy” group does not quite fit with their actual record.
Hilton said she believed Epps left the organization in late 2011 to spend more time with the Mormon Church and the family business he was building.
Epps told the J6 Select Committee a different story, however.
According to the transcript, Epps said his departure was linked to antifa’s activities in Portland, Oregon, where “they were burning things and doing different things on the news.”
He told the Democrat Committee that Stewart Rhodes wanted Oath Keepers to travel to Portland and “try to direct them” and testified that he did not agree with that.
Truth in Media looked into the Portland anarchist group, Rose City Antifa, and discovered that it was four years old in 2011, relatively small in number, and mostly focused on social justice issues.
“We did not find any news stories about antifa burning anything,” Logan reported. “But we did find news coverage of the Occupy Portland movement that was forcibly removed from two parks that year.”
Hilton said Rhodes had never mentioned anything to her about infiltrating antifa, and as far as she knew, Epps left on good terms.
She told Logan that she never saw him again until she saw the footage of him urging people to “go into the Capitol” on Jan. 6.
“He changed!” Hilton told Logan, explaining that his reckless stance was not something she would have expected. “That’s totally the opposite of the image that he had presented previously,” she added. “He was a Marine, very disciplined. They don’t cross those lines. Yet, there he was screaming to total strangers to cross that line.”
Hilton said Epps’ lack of discipline was “so out of character from what I knew of him.” She said Rhodes was shocked to see it, as well.
“We had several conversations about it. That’s not the Ray we knew!” she exclaimed.
Logan asked Hilton if the widespread speculation that Epps was working for the government in some capacity sounded realistic or possible and Hilton responded, “yes, because it was so out of character I would think someone would have to be instructing him on how to conduct himself.”
She added: “I couldn’t think of any other logical explanation for his behavior, his demeanor, his words—any of it.”
Hilton told Logan she was willing to give Epps the benefit of doubt, but the more she saw, the more she was convinced he was an informant.
Logan pointed out that Epps has vehemently denied that he was working with the feds, and the J6 Committee has concluded the same.
“I guess that means he’s going on the offense because he’s guilty!” Hilton declared. “The louder you get, the guiltier you probably are.”
Hilton pointed out that other J6ers, who had done little more than trespass, have had the book thrown at them, while Epps has not done any time despite the prominent role he played on January 6.
The former Marine was charged with a single misdemeanor count of disruptive or disorderly conduct in a restricted area in U.S. District Court in Washington in September, a charge that carries a maximum punishment of a year in prison. Unlike other J6 defendants, Epps was not required to appear in court and was allowed to plead guilty via Zoom, court records show.
“They’ve got grandmothers with cancer that walked in and took a selfie that are in prison,” Hilton said. “It just doesn’t add up. Here he is actually on film verbalizing going into the Capitol, she added. “That’s what you call ginning up a crowd … incitement.”
Hilton wasn’t impressed that Epps has been charged with a single misdemeanor count.
“What’s the logical explanation of why he has not spent a day in jail?” she asked, pointing out that J6ers who had done “far less” were arrested and had to await their trials indefinitely from jail.
“They had to wait for their day in court from a jail cell,” she said. “He didn’t. And he is the only one on film that I am aware of that is actually calling to breach the Capitol!”
Hilton said if Epps was a fed back when she knew him in 2011, “He fooled me,” but since he left the Oath Keepers and January 6, 2021, something had drastically changed.
“What, I don’t know, but those were two different people,” she said.
Logan said Truth in Media reached out to Epps’ attorney Michael Teter for comment but got no response.
Teter is the managing director of The 65 Project, an effort to disbar lawyers who “attempted a coup-via-courtroom” in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Logan said that Teter seemed like an “odd choice” to represent an alleged Trump supporter like Epps since the attorney is in the process of using lawfare to destroy Trump’s lawyers.
“How does a Trump supporter who believes the 2020 election was stolen end up with a lawyer who’s leading the effort to punish Trump’s attorneys for questioning the election?” she asked.
Logan said that one of Teter’s main allies in the effort is non other than Media Matters co-founder David Brock, a ruthless political operative for the Democrats.
Brock told Axios in March of 2022 that the idea is to “not only bring the grievances in the bar complaints, but shame them and make them toxic in their communities and in their firms.”
“I think the littler fish are probably more vulnerable to what we’re doing,” Brock said. “You’re threatening their livelihood. And, you know, they’ve got reputations in their local communities.”
Teter is spearheading a defamation case against Fox News over its reports about his client. He insists that from the very moment that Epps learned the FBI sought to identify him “he cooperated and has taken responsibility for his actions.”
In a CNN interview back in April, a seemingly destitute Epps was shown with his wife living in an RV in an undisclosed location. According to public records, however, Epps sold his home in Queen Creek last year for $2.2 million.
Logan reminded viewers how Epps had told “Baked Alaska” on January 5, 2021 that he had once “stood down” antifa with some Army vets in Queen Creek, Az. Truth in Media, however, could not find any record of clashes between antifa and Army vets in that town.
Epps does appear prominently in a livestream taken by Baked Alaska during a “Stop the Steal” rally in Phoenix on November 30, 2020.
Incredibly, according to Logan, the video “appeared to have been scrubbed from the internet.” A single copy of the livestream was found “buried deep in an online archive,” she reported.
Ray Epps can be seen in the video pacing back and forth a short distance from Gionet (Baked Alaska).
“He looked over in his direction repeatedly,” Logan said. “By our count, 13 times. Then Epps stopped and pointed his camera right at him, snagging a photo before putting his phone down and walking away, only to emerge on camera a minute later, taking another photo [of Baked Alaska] in the same area.”
Not long after that, he interrupted an argument Baked Alaska was having with a counter-protester.
“We don’t want you here so skedaddle! Scram!” Baked Alaska told the individual.
Epps came over and said “everybody’s welcome here.”
“It’s a free speech zone, so yeah,” Bake Alaska agreed.
Epps can then be heard saying: “we’re Americans and we’re all from the country.”
Baked Alaska told Logan that he “didn’t remember that interaction at all.”
On January 6, Bake Alaska, unlike Epps, did end up going into the Capitol, livestreaming the chaos along the way. And for that, the social media influencer was charged with misdemeanors and subjected to a traumatizing police raid.
“Twenty U.S. marshals jumped out—’get on the ground!’—guns, rifles, threw me on the ground, handcuffed me,” he recalled. “It was like they sent the whole squad over to make this big scene, wasting taxpayer money, putting me in danger—for what?!”
Baked Alaska said that he had already offered to turn himself in through his attorney.
“That happened not just with me, but with everybody,” he noted. “I’ve heard stories of doors getting kicked down, these late night or early morning raids, the family having to go through the trauma—it’s absolutely insane.”
The Biden regime, like the Obama regime before it, has made a point of using law enforcement to terrorize its political adversaries.
Federal agents generally follow the regime’s orders without questioning them, although there are some exceptions.
FBI Special Agent Steve Friend was suspended in September 2022—“stripped of his gun and badge, and escorted out of the FBI field office in Daytona Beach, Fla.”—after conscientiously objecting to taking part in the Bureau’s harassment of conservative Americans.
Special Agent Kyle Seraphin was suspended on June 1, 2022 after nearly six years with the Bureau after he made a “protected disclosure” regarding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s email ordering the FBI to use Patriot Act counterterrorism tools to target parents at school board meetings.
Baked Alaska said he still has PTSD from the armed raid, but it didn’t end there. “The cops kept coming to my door with more charges,” he explained. He told Logan that the Biden DOJ wanted to charge him with conspiracy because he went to the J6 protest and met up with friends. Ultimately, they were unable to prove any kind of conspiracy in his case, he said. But the social media influencer told Logan that he assumes he’s still being surveilled.
In addition, Baked Alaska said that traveling has become more complicated for him because he has been placed on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Quad S” list, meaning he has to undergo additional enhanced security screening by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the airport.
“I can’t check in online, I’ve got to go about three hours early, they have to manually call Homeland Security, treat me like a terrorist, go through every thing I own with a bomb squad—I’m not joking!—then they pat me down in every way possible, and then I get to the gate and it’s not done,” he explained. “Then they come back again, pat me down in front of everybody.”
Baked Alaska said the entire point is to humiliate an opponent of the regime.
“Really what this is is a humiliation tactic,” he told Logan. “They want to humiliate me and intimidate me in the public square.”
Was Ray Epps the victim of right wing conspiracies and speculation?— Truth In Media (@Truth_InMedia) November 10, 2023
Or was he being used, like everyone else on January 6th, but for a different purpose? pic.twitter.com/nu8zLJPjaK