SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. – Derrick Evans has now resigned from the West Virginia House of Delegates after he recorded himself and others breaching the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“I hereby resign as a member of the House of Delegates, effective immediately,” Evans wrote in a letter to Gov. Jim Justice and the House.
Several West Virginia lawmakers had already called for Evans to resign after he unlawfully entered the Capitol building.
Delegate John Doyle, D-Jefferson, was among those politicians who had previously called for Evans’ resignation.
“The only thing honorable left for [Evans] to do is resign immediately,” Doyle said in a phone call on Friday before Evans resigned on Saturday. “If he does not do so, it is incumbent upon the House of Delegates to vote to deny him his seat.”
Doyle further criticized Evans’ actions, saying that Evans has “disgraced himself and has brought shame on the state of West Virginia.”
Delegate Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, said he hopes anyone who engaged in such activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I was disgusted with the lawless behavior we witnessed Wednesday and have joined Speaker Hanshaw in condemning the desecration of our United States Capitol in the strongest possible terms,” Espinosa said in an email Friday.
West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, said in a news release Wednesday that Evans would need to answer to his constituents and colleagues about his involvement in what occurred in the Capitol.
Espinosa said he agreed with Hanshaw’s statement. Before the announcement of Evans’ resignation, Espinosa believed the House would have held Evans accountable had he chosen not to resign.
“Should Delegate Evans maintain his unwillingness to resign, I fully expect that the House will take swift action to hold him accountable,” Espinosa said Friday before Evans resigned on Saturday.
Evans faces federal charges for disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and unlawfully entering a restricted building, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Evans uploaded a Facebook live video in which he and others pushed past the doors to the Capitol building.
Approximately 28 seconds into Evans’ livestream, he yelled “There we go! Open the door!” Evans then started to chant “Our house! Our house!”
“The door is cracked!” Evans said moments later as rioters breached the entryway and pushed into the Capitol building.
Once inside, Evans shouted “We’re in, baby! We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
FBI Special Agent David J. Dimarco drafted the criminal complaint against Evans. Dimarco cited the Facebook Live video as evidence for Evans’ charges.
“I have identified Evans as the person operating the livestream not only from context, but also by comparing the voice of the individual operating the livestream to Evans’ voice in a campaign video … that Evans posted to his Facebook page … In addition, as noted below, Evans identifies himself by first and last name during the recorded video capturing the offense,” Dimarco wrote in the complaint.
Evans has since deleted his video from Facebook, but a copy of the livestream was uploaded to the website Reddit.
Later on Wednesday, Evans stated on his Facebook page that he was at the Capitol to film “another event in D.C.”
“I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred,” Evans said. “I was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.”
However, in the criminal complaint Dimarco noted that Evans described himself as a “political candidate” on his Facebook and did not appear to identify with the media.
Evans was arrested at his home by federal agents Friday afternoon and taken to the courthouse for his arraignment.
ICYMI | Exclusive video of WV Delegate Derrick Evans getting brought out of his home by federal agents.
He is charged for his alleged involvement of storming the US Capitol Wednesday. #WSAZ
— Chad Hedrick (@WSAZChadHedrick) January 8, 2021
Evans was later released on personal recognizance bond, meaning he did not have to post money for bond in order to be released. He will be required to report to a federal court in the District of Columbia when a future date is set.
The House of Delegates released an additional statement in which Evans expresses regret and discusses moving forward.
“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.
“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,” Evans added.