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Enlarge/ Derrick Evans shouts on his Facebook livestream as a mob enters the US Capitol.
The West Virginia state lawmaker who was part of a pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol was arrested today and is being charged by federal authorities.
Derrick Evans, a newly elected Republican who was sworn in to the West Virginia House of Delegates last month, livestreamed himself on Facebook Wednesday as the mob broke into the Capitol. On Friday, Evans was “charged with entering a restricted area of the US Capitol,” the Associated Press reported, citing a Justice Department official.
“Ken Kohl, a top deputy federal prosecutor in Washington, announced the charge against Republican state Del. Derrick Evans on a call in which he presented dozens of new charges against members of the crowd that violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday,” the AP wrote.
WSAZ reporter Chad Hendrick posted a video of Evans being taken into custody by FBI agents this 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. #WSAZpic.twitter.com/wK2RqFcaF7
Chad Hedrick (@WSAZChadHedrick) January 8, 2021
“WSAZ was the only news outlet at Evans’ home in Wayne County Friday as the FBI made the arrest,” the news site wrote.
Update: The complaint and arrest warrant were posted by The Wayne County News. Evans was charged with entering a restricted building “without lawful authority” and “violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.”
Law enforcement agencies have been examining social media posts to identify rioters, and Evans made it especially easy for authorities to identify him. While livestreaming himself, Evans yelled, “We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” In another video he posted before storming the Capitol, he said, “Pray that the patriots, the constitutional-loving Americans, the people who are tired of liberals running this country and stealing elections, that they get off the couch and show up today in force and send a message.”
Evans’ actions drew condemnation from both Republican and Democratic officials in West Virginia. Evans claimed he “was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history,” and his lawyer said Evans would not resign from the state legislature.
“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,'” according to CNN.
One of the other arrests announced today was of Richard Barnett, who posted a photo of himself in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the break-in. He was arrested in Arkansas.
“Just because you’ve left the DC region, you can still expect a knock at the door, if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” FBI official Steven D’antuono said, according to Politico. “We are sparing no expense or personnel or effort to root those perpetrators out and find them.” There could also be arrests for thefts of laptops from the offices of congressmembers, including a laptop stolen from Pelosi’s office.
Listing image by Derrick Evans
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