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West Virginia state lawmaker charged after storming US Capitol, refusing to resign

Derrick Evans facing bipartisan calls to step down
Derrick Evans
Posted at 12:48 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 14:36:29-05

CHARLESTON, W.V. – A newly elected state lawmaker from West Virginia is being charged after posting a video to Facebook that showed he was part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

That Associated Press reports that the U.S. Justice Department has charged Derrick Evans with entering a restricted area of the U.S. Capitol. It’s not immediately known if Evans is in custody.

Ken Kohl, a top deputy federal prosecutor in Washington, announced the charge during a call Friday in which he announced dozens of new charges against members of the mob, the AP reports.

Before the charge was announced, Evans had been defying bipartisan calls for his resignation in reaction to the video posted on his personal Facebook account that showed he was among the thousands who breached the Capitol during the riots, according to The New York Times. The video has since been deleted.

“We did it!” Evans said in the video, according to The New York Times. “Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”

Following Wednesday’s riots, Evans has faced calls to resign from Democrats and fellow Republicans.

“The actions of Delegate Evans were a disgrace not only to the office to which he was elected but also to the people of his district and the entire state of West Virginia,” Republican West Virginia Senator-elect Eric Nelson said in a statement, according to WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia.

West Virginia House Minority Leader Doug Skaff Jr. has also released a statement asking that Evans “be disqualified from serving as a member of the House of Delegates.”

Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw is currently conducting an investigation into Evans’ actions.

Despite calls for his resignation, Evans says he still plans to serve in the House of Delegates. His lawyer, John H. Bryan, told WVNS-TV in Lewisburg, West Virginia, that Evans did not commit a criminal act and was not part of any violence or destruction at the Capitol.

The New York Times reports that in his since-deleted video, Evans urged other Trump supporters not to deface the Capitol building.

Five people died as a result of Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol, including a Capitol police officer.