A West Virginia Republican state lawmaker who recorded himself storming the US Capitol during a deadly riot there earlier this week is facing a criminal charge, US officials announced Friday.
Derrick Evans, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, has been charged in a criminal complaint with entering a restricted area and entering the US Capitol, said Ken Kohl, a top official in the US attorney’s office for Washington.
The complaint will be made publicly available later Friday.
Evans’ lawyer, John Bryan, told CNN he hasn’t yet seen the complaint and declined to provide any comment on the charge.
The charge comes as federal authorities begin to arrest and bring charges against some of the scores of people who participated in the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, which was incited in part by President Donald Trump and resulted in the deaths of five people, including a US Capitol Police officer.
Evans, a supporter of Trump, recorded a Facebook Live video in which he can be heard shouting, “We’re in! We’re in, baby!” while moving among a crowd of rioters as he walked through a doorway of the Capitol.
He has denied taking part in the destruction and violence and has since deleted the clip, but not before it was shared on social media and aired by CNN affiliate WCHS. In another video posted to his Facebook page Wednesday morning, Evans laughs as he predicts a riot.
Evans said later Wednesday that he had filmed the event onlyas an “independent member of the media to film history,” though it does not appear he has any experience working as one.
Evans’ lawyer had asserted in a statement Thursday that his client “had no choice but to enter” the Capitol due to the size of the crowd he was in, and that “it wasn’t apparent to Mr. Evans that he wasn’t allowed to follow the crowd into this public area of the Capitol, inside which members of the public were already located.”
Evans’ actions have sparked calls for his resignation, including from Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
West Virginia GOP state lawmaker who stormed US Capitol faces criminal charge The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CNN.