A West Virginia legislator who filmed himself joining President Donald Trump’s supporters storming the Capitol on Wednesday is denying that he broke the law and refusing calls to resign, CBS News reports.
State Delegate Derrick Evans, a Republican, filmed himself wearing a helmet and attempting to push his way into the Capitol building during Congress’ session to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. The video, which was posted to social media but has since been deleted, also shows Evans wandering around the Capitol Rotunda.
Evans’ lawyer, John H. Bryan, told CBS affiliate WVNS-TV that his client “committed no criminal act that day.”
“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,” Bryan said.
West Virginia Speaker of the House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw told another CBS affiliate, WOWK-TV, that Evans will have to “answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”
He added, “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.”