Republican state lawmaker resigns after being involved in Capitol riot

A Republican state lawmaker has resigned after a video surfaced that showed him participating in the riot at the U.S. Capitol building last week. 

West Virginia State Delegate Derrick Evans announced his resignation on Saturday, CBS News reported.

What did he do?

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a press release that it had charged Evans with “one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.” If convicted, Evans faces up to a year and a half in prison.

The press release stated that Evans “streamed live to his Facebook page a video of himself joining and encouraging a crowd unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol.”

During the live stream, according to the DOJ, Evans can be seen crossing the threshold of the U.S. Capitol building before shouting, “We’re in, we’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol! We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” Evans can then be seen going around the Capitol Rotunda where he can be heard telling others not to vandalize.

The live stream has since been deleted, but others have posted the recording on social media.

The aftermath

After it was discovered that Evans was involved in the unlawful entry of the Capitol, there were bipartisan calls for him to resign.

Evans initially said that he would not step down, stating that he “committed no criminal act that day,” according to CBS. But by Saturday, he had changed his tune.

“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,” Evans said in his resignation statement, ABC News reported.

He went on: “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.”

Evans also said he “hope[s] it helps to begin the healing process, so we can all move forward and come together as ‘One Nation, Under God.”

Evans was elected to his position on Nov. 3, 2020, and was one of many Republicans across the country who took a seat previously held by a Democrat in last year’s elections. It is unclear who will replace him.

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