Ted Cruz sends fundraising email suggesting the FBI was behind the Jan. 6 insurrection

click to enlarge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz smirks from the stage at a 2019 event hosted by conservative group Turning Point USA. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / GAGE SKIDMORE
Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz smirks from the stage at a 2019 event hosted by conservative group Turning Point USA.

Three weeks after groveling to Tucker Carlson to beg forgiveness for calling the Jan. 6 insurrection what it was — a "violent terrorist incident" — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has sent out a fundraising email suggesting the FBI orchestrated the attack.

Far-right conspiracy mongers including Fox News host Carlson have repeatedly pushed the bullshit notion that Deep State actors, including FBI agents, ginned up the Jan. 6 mob assault to discredit then-President Donald Trump.

That crackpot theory, of course, has been widely debunked. But that didn't stop Cruz, R-Texas, from seizing on it in a bid to separate far-right conspiracy kooks from their hard-earned lunch money. 

"What are they trying to hide now about the events of January 6, 2021?" Cruz asked in the Jan. 22 fundraising message. "I’m working hard to expose the full truth and shine a light on whether there was any FBI involvement on that day… and the liberal media can't stand it!"

Cruz is a skilled enough rhetorician to give himself wiggle room by framing his insinuations as questions rather than statements. Even so, the intent is crystal clear.

"Did ANY FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events that day?" Cruz ponders before falsely claiming the agency regularly abused its power to do the Democrats' bidding. "We know the FBI has been misused in the past to target President Trump and our conservative movement and run interference for the Democrats."

Then Cruz drills down deep on a specific Jan. 6 theory popular in far-right circles, asking "Who is Ray Epps? Was Ray Epps a federal agent or informant?"

Right-wing pundits, including Carlson, have repeatedly, and without supporting facts, claimed Epps, a 60-year-old business owner who took part in the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally was working for the FBI. The Washington Post recently spent more than 2,000 words explaining in excruciating detail why this has zero grounding in reality. But, hey, who needs facts?

After Cruz's fundraising missive surfaced, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of just two Republicans willing to serve on the House committee investigating Jan. 6, blasted Cruz on Twitter for using his fundraising efforts to promote the "absolute lie" that Epps had any link to the FBI.

"@tedcruz could care less who he manipulates and what BS he spews," the congressman said. "I will never let you forget Teddy. You, Gaetz, Greene, Massie, etc."

Kinzinger's name checking certainly puts Cruz in with the correct company — a murderer's row of political opportunists including U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who have shown they're willing to rip the nation apart to pander to a fringe increasingly unmoored from reality.

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