A West Virginia state lawmaker who filmed himself storming into the U.S. Capitol along with a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump is now facing federal charges, the U.S. District Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said Friday.
West Virginia State Delegate Derrick Evans is charged with entering a restricted area, Ken Kohl, principal assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C., said on a press call.
Evans is among 15 people who have been charged at the federal level so far, including an Arkansas man who was photographed with his feet up on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and another man found with 11 Molotov cocktails along with an assault rifle and two handguns in his Alabama-registered truck. The U.S. Attorney’s office has charged 40 others in D.C. Superior Court, officials say. Federal criminal complaints had not yet been released on Friday afternoon.
#BREAKING WV Delegate Derrick Evans has been taken into federal custody.
He’s charged after allegedly entering a restricted area of the US Capitol with rioters Wednesday.
A woman saying he was his grandmother came out telling us to leave as he was put in a car. #WSAZ pic.twitter.com/wK2RqFcaF7
Evans, a newly elected Republican lawmaker, is facing bipartisan calls for his resignation. But Evans’ lawyer told CBS affiliate WVNS-TV that he would not step down and he “committed no criminal act that day.”
The video Evans posted to social media Wednesday showed him yelling, “We’re here. We’re here. Derrick Evans is in the Capitol.”
Evans’ lawyer, John Bryan, told The Associated Press said he hadn’t seen the complaint against Evans and couldn’t comment. A reporter for television station WSAZ posted video of Evans being taken into custody outside a home.
The Republican speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Roger Hanshaw, condemned the assault on the Capitol in a Wednesday statement and said Evans “will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues.”
“While free speech and peaceful protests are a core value of American society, storming government buildings and 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,” Hanshaw wrote.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington field office, said investigators are combing through tips, social media and video to identify more suspects in Wednesday’s siege. The FBI and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department have released a series of photos of people who stormed the Capitol and asked the public to contact them with any information. D’Antuono thanked the public for tips that have already been submitted and vowed, “Make no mistake, our work here is not done.”
“Just because you’ve left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on your door if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” D’Antuono said.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said “all options were on the table” when it comes to considering more serious riot or sedition-related charges for those arrested and anyone else who may have been involved with planning the attack.
When asked whether he would be examining the role of President Trump’s comments to his supporters prior to the assault, Sherwin repeated: “We’re looking at all actors here and anyone that had a role, and if the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.”
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