Ray Epps, wearing a red Trump cap, center, gestures to others as people gather on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | fake images
Fox News was sued for defamation Wednesday by self-described Donald Trump supporter Ray Epps for “spreading falsehoods” that Epps was an undercover FBI agent responsible for encouraging a mob of Trump supporters who invaded the US Capitol. USA on January 6, 2021.
He suit by Arizona resident Epps came nearly three months after Fox News’ corporate parent agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle that company’s defamation lawsuit accusing Fox Corp. of making false claims about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The lawsuit by Epps, a former US Marine, says that, as Fox recently discovered in the Dominion case, “your lies have consequences.”
The lawsuit accuses former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who was fired immediately after the Dominion settlement, of being the main promoter of the false Epps conspiracy theory. He was among the crowd of supporters of then-President Trump who gathered in front of the Capitol on January 6.
Epps and other Trump supporters believed false claims by Trump and his allies that the 2020 presidential election had been rigged in favor of President Joe Biden. A joint session of Congress was scheduled to confirm Biden’s victory that day.
“After the events of January 6, Fox News looked for a scapegoat to blame other than Donald Trump or the Republican Party,” said Epps’ complaint, filed in the same Delaware Superior Court where Dominion sued.
“Eventually, they turned on one of their own, telling a fantastic story in which Ray Epps, who was a Trump supporter who participated in the January 6 protests, was an undercover FBI agent and was responsible for the mob that violently stormed the Capitol and interfered with the peaceful transition of power for the first time in the history of this country,” the lawsuit states.
Epps in his complaint said that the “lies of Fox News have destroyed” his life and that of his wife Robyn.
The lawsuit also said that in May, the US Department of Justice notified Epps “that it would seek to criminally charge him for the events of January 6, 2021, two and a half years later.”
“Fox’s and Mr. Carlson’s relentless attacks and the resulting political pressure likely resulted in the criminal charges,” the complaint states.
“While it is hard to believe that the Department of Justice would have pursued this matter if Fox had not focused his lies on Epps, ultimately, the criminal charges conclusively demonstrate the falsehood of the story Mr. Carlson and Fox told about Epps. “, said. continued.
“Epps was not a federal agent. He was a loyal Fox viewer and Trump supporter,” the lawsuit states.
Fox News sought Wednesday to have Epps’ lawsuit transferred to the US District Court in Delaware.
A Fox spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
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