A West Virginia Republican lawmaker livestreamed himself hooting and hollering while taking part in Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol — and now his colleagues from both parties want him gone, the Associated Press reported.
What are the details?
State Del. Derrick Evans wore a helmet as he and other supporters of President Donald Trump pushed their way inside the building, the AP said, citing the now-deleted video.
But the video is still readily available on the internet. In the portion of the video below, Evans yelled at one point, “Trump! Trump! Woooo!” He apparently added in another clip that doesn’t show his face, “The door’s cracked! Yes! We’re going in! … They’re in! They’re in! They’re in!”
And as a shield blocked the rioters’ way inside, Evans apparently can be heard chanting, “Move! Move!”
The AP said video also showed Evans imploring others to not vandalize artwork and busts inside the grand Capitol Rotunda, where historic paintings depict the republic’s founding.
“Our house!” Evans yelled inside the Capitol halls, the outlet added. “I don’t know where we’re going. I’m following the crowd.”
More from the AP:
Evans, a vocal conservative activist with more than 30,000 followers on Facebook, has not publicly posted on social media since issuing a statement Wednesday that he attended the events as an “independent member of the media to film history.” He took his Twitter account private late Wednesday and didn’t respond to emailed questions.
What did Evans’ colleagues have to say?
Roger Hanshaw, the Republican speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, told the outlet Wednesday night that Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues” for his actions.
The AP also said Democratic leadership called for his prosecution, and about 40,000 people signed a petition on change.org asking for Evans’ removal. The chairwoman of the state GOP, Melody Potter, declined to answer questions about Evans, the outlet noted.
What did Evans’ attorney have to say?
Attorney John Bryan is representing Evans and told the AP that his client will not resign despite a bipartisan effort to expel him.
“He committed no criminal act that day,” Bryan said in a Thursday statement, the outlet noted. “At no point was Mr. Evans located in the crowd on the West side of the (Capitol) building, nor anywhere else on the Capitol grounds, where violence and destruction of property was, or had been, occurring,” the AP said.
But two U.S. Attorneys in West Virginia noted to the outlet in a statement that they are in touch with attorneys in other states and are “prepared to enforce the Rule of Law and the laws of these United States.”
More from the AP:
Like several other political first-time winners in November’s West Virginia elections, Evans swept aside a Democratic rival to win his seat representing Wayne County. High GOP turnout credited to Trump elevated down-ballot Republicans in the state and gave the party a statehouse supermajority.
Lawmakers from other states attended Wednesday’s pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., which stood in opposition to the election of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, the outlet said.
More from the AP:
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano said he helped organize a bus ride to the demonstrations but left the U.S. Capitol area after the eruption of violence, which he called “unacceptable.” The top Democrat in the Pennsylvania Senate, and eight of his colleagues, want him to resign, saying his actions and words disputing the election’s integrity encouraged a coup attempt and inspired the people behind it.
Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver said Wednesday night that it had been an “epic and historic day.” The Republican lawmaker told The Tennessean she was “in the thick of it” but hadn’t seen any violence. Weaver did not respond to emailed questions from The Associated Press about whether she entered the Capitol.
Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black, a Republican, said she marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, where she saw men on megaphones revving the crowd to storm the security barrier. She said she retreated to avoid being associated with the mob.
“We all had a choice when that fence came down,” she said, according to the outlet. “Whether it was our group that incited that to happen or another group, every single person had the choice to make.”
Republican Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem posted photos of himself attending the protest outside the Capitol, the AP said. Finchem’s office told the outlet he observed from afar, yet liberal groups in the state want him expelled for backing the effort to overturn the election, the outlet added.
More from the AP:
Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, an outspoken Trump supporter who is running for governor, attended the president’s rally Wednesday in which Trump urged supporters to march to the Capitol. Chase said in a Facebook video that she left near the end of the rally on the advice of her security team, and there is no indication she was part of the group that stormed the Capitol.
Republican state Reps. David Eastman of Alaska and Justin Hill of Missouri both said they went to Washington to object to the Electoral College votes of several states confirming Biden’s election, but didn’t participate in the demonstrations.
Hill said the Trump rally was “very peaceful,” the outlet reported.
“But what I saw at the Capitol was not the same people,” he added. “I wasn’t there rallying troops to overthrow the government.”