West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans won’t resign after Capitol riot

  • Derrick Evans, a newly elected lawmaker in the West Virginia House of Delegates, says he won’t resign after he filmed himself and others storming the US Capitol building on Wednesday. 
  • The Justice Department announced on Friday that Evans had been charged with entering a restricted area of the US Capitol during the riot.
  • Evans’ lawyer told CBS affiliate WVNS-TV his client “committed no criminal act” as he stormed the Capitol building.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A newly elected lawmaker in West Virginia who was criminally charged after filming himself and supporters of President Donald Trump taking part in the riot at the US Capitol on Wednesday says he won’t resign after his colleagues called for him to step down.

An attorney for Derrick Evans, a Republican lawmaker in West Virginia’s House of Delegates, told CBS affiliate WVNS-TV that his client “committed no criminal act” as he stormed the Capitol building.

“From Mr. Evans point of view in the crowd, it appeared that the crowd was being allowed by law enforcement into the Capitol. He was not at the front of the group. Given the sheer size of the group walking in, Evans had no choice but to enter,” the attorney, John H. Bryan, said. “Evans continued to film once inside. His footage showed that members of the public were already inside the Capitol by the time he entered. Evans’ footage shows no riotous behavior taking place at that time. Protesters can be seen calmly walking around.”

The Justice Department announced on Friday Evans had been charged with entering a restricted area of the US Capitol in connection the riot, in which supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers debated the Electoral College vote count.

Five people, including a US Capitol Police officer, died in the riot.

When contacted by Insider, Bryan said that he had not yet read the criminal complaint against Evans. It’s unclear if Evans is in custody. 

Video Evans posted, which has been deleted from his Facebook but can still be found on Reddit, shows people funneling through the doors of the US Capitol building.

In the video, Evans can be heard saying “Keep it moving baby” to the people in front of him, complaining about being hit with pepper spray, and, upon stepping through the doors of the Capitol and pushing passed the police, cheering: “We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”

It later shows Evans walking around the building shouting “Freedom!” and warning people not to destroy property.

Hours after the riot, Evans said in a separate video that he went to the Capitol as an “independent member of the media to film history,” and said he “did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement.”

Evans’ colleagues in the West Virginia House of Delegates have criticized his participation in the riot, with the House Speaker, Roger Hanshaw, telling WV Metro News that “participating in a violent intentional disruption of one of our nation’s most fundamental political institutions is a crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

A public petition calling for Evan’s removal has more than 50,000 signatures

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