A Republican lawmaker has resigned from the West Virginia House of Delegates and been arrested for illegally entering the U.S. Capitol building during the Wednesday unrest.
Delegate Derrick Evans, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without legal authorization and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
According to a criminal affidavit, Evans live-streamed himself on Facebook while outside the Capitol, including the moment when he and others entered the building. At different points in the video, Evans allegedly shouted, “There we go! Open the door!” and, once inside the building, “We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
Toward the end of the five-minute video, Evans allegedly appeared to fist-bump an officer, stating, “We still respect you, all right?” and also shouted, “No destruction of anything! No vandalizing property, no vandalizing!” He concluded by saying he didn’t know where he was going and was simply following the crowd, per the affidavit.
Evans announced Saturday that his resignation was effective immediately.
“The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” said Evans in a statement.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents, and fellow West Virginians. I hope this action I take today can remove any cloud of distraction from the state Legislature, so my colleagues can get to work in earnest building a brighter future for our state. And more importantly, I hope it helps to begin the healing process so we can all move forward and come together as ‘One Nation, Under God,’” he concluded.
A lawyer for Evans previously said the lawmaker had no intention of resigning from his position because he hadn’t committed any criminal acts, reported CBS News.
The Department of Justice has announced that over a dozen other people have been charged for acts related to the U.S. Capitol incident on Wednesday, including the man who was allegedly photographed shirtless, wearing a bearskin headdress and bullhorns, and carrying a six-foot spear. Another man, from Florida, was arrested for allegedly removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, which he was purportedly photographed holding while in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
A different man, Richard Barnett, 60, was arrested Friday for allegedly entering Pelosi’s office, where he put his feet up on her desk. Photos of the alleged incident were circulated online and in media outlets. Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen called the photos “repulsive.”
“Those who are proven to have committed criminal acts during the storming of the Capitol will face justice,” said Rosen.
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