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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Photo by Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — After Tucker Carlson blasted Ted Cruz for calling the Jan. 6 Capitol events a “violent terrorist attack,” Cruz on Tuesday bolstered his subsequent apology by slamming the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s targeting of nonviolent individuals near the Capitol on January 6. Cruz also grilled the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on whether Ray Epps was an FBI federal agent inciting criminal activity that day.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Cruz began with harsh criticism of the DOJ’s “wildly disparate standards” regarding who they target for prosecution.

Cruz noted that the DOJ was “targeting a lot of nonviolent individuals” who were at the Capitol on January 6, even as they neglected to address violence across the country committed, for example, during Antifa riots. Cruz pointed out that “there were over 700 police officers injured by Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots” in 2020.

Addressing Matthew Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division of the DOJ, Cruz said, “We asked you, why is it that you won’t target the rioters and terrorists who firebomb cities across this country? The answer we got from the Department of Justice was shameful.”

Cruz continued, “On October 22nd, you came back and said, ‘The department has dedicated investigative and prosecutorial resources commensurate with the significance of these events.’”

“By significance, I guess it means the political benefit to the Biden White House,” adding that “many Americans” are “deeply concerned about the politicization” of the DOJ under Biden.

Despite the fact that “218 days” have passed since Cruz and other senators sent a letter to the DOJ asking about “differential prosecutions,” Cruz pointed out that the “DOJ refused to answer” questions from the letter during that day’s hearing, highlighting the fact that just prior, Olsen repeatedly said he did not know the numbers of people charged or incarcerated because of January 6 events.

“Your answer to every damn question is, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. You’re under oath. You may believe … that you are unaccountable to the American people, but that is not the case. And the wildly disparate standards are unacceptable,” said Cruz.

Cruz then turned to Jill Sanborn, Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch of the FBI, to be met with a near total refusal to answer his questions.

“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?” Cruz asked Sanborn.

Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods,” she replied.

“I can’t answer that,” was her response to questions about whether “FBI agents or confidential informants” committed or incited “crimes of violence” on January 6.

Then, strikingly, when Cruz asked Sanborn “Who is Ray Epps?” — a man who has received significant media attention for his recorded attempt to encourage breaching of the Capitol on January 6 — Sanborn replied, “I’m aware of the individual, sir. I don’t have the specific background to him.”

Cruz went on to point out matters of concern regarding Ray Epps, similar to points Tucker Carlson brought up just before criticizing Cruz for his framing of the January 6 Capitol events as a “violent terrorist attack.”

Cruz continued addressing Sanborn: “There are a lot of people who are understandably concerned about Mr. Epps. On the night of January 5th, 2021, Epps wandered around the crowd that had gathered and there’s video of him chanting, ‘Tomorrow, we need to get into the capital, into the capital.’ This was strange behavior, so strange that the crowd began chanting, ‘Fed, Fed, Fed, Fed, Fed, Fed.’”

“Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a Fed?”

I cannot answer that question,” said Sanborn.

Cruz then pointed out, as Carlson and others have, that while Epps was once included in a public listing of “individuals connected with violent crimes on January 6th,” “some time later, magically, Mr. Epps disappeared” from the posting. A Cruz aide displayed screenshot pictures highlighting this removal.

Cruz pointed out that public record shows Epps “has not been charged with anything,” despite the fact that he has been video-recorded “urging people” to go into the Capitol building.

This is indeed puzzling, as “hundreds of protesters who were present at Capitol Hill on January 6th have been arrested for their alleged role” in the events that day, as Red Voice Media pointed out.

And so Cruz told Sanborn, “A lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal and violent conduct on January 6th.”

He continued, “My question to you — and this is so this is not an ordinary law enforcement question, this is a question of public accountability — did federal agents, or those in service of federal agent[s] actively encourage violent and criminal conduct on January 6th?”

“Not to my knowledge, sir,” replied Sanborn.

Some media sources, such as USA Todayinsist that the House committee investigating January 6th has “debunked” the “conspiracy theory” that Epps was an FBI informant who purposely incited a breach of the Capitol. Their assurance apparently comes from a failure to question the veracity of Epps’ alleged statement that he “was not employed by, working with, or acting at the direction of any law enforcement agency on Jan. 5th or 6th or at any other time.”