WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A West Virginia state lawmaker resigned Saturday as he faces charges of entering a restricted area of the U.S. Capitol after he livestreamed himself with rioters.
In a letter, Republican Del. Derrick Evans notified Gov. Jim Justice he was stepping down, effective immediately.
Evans issued a statement Saturday that he takes full responsibility for his actions, adding he deemed it best for him to resign to “focus on my personal situation and those I love.”
“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,” said Evans.
“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,’” he added.
The Justice Department announced Friday that Derrick Evans has been charged with entering a restricted area of the U.S. Capitol and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.
Ken Kohl, a top deputy federal prosecutor in Washington, announced the charge against Evans on a call in which he presented dozens of new charges against members of a mob that rioted at the Capitol on Wednesday.
He appeared before a federal judge in Huntington, West Virginia, on Friday afternoon after being arrested, news outlets reported. If convicted, he faces up to a year and a half in federal prison for two misdemeanors: entering a restricted area and disorderly conduct.
Federal Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert released him on his own recognizance. Wearing a hoodie and a face mask to protect against the coronavirus, Evans did not answer reporters’ questions as he left the courthouse and quickly got into a vehicle.
His lawyer, John Bryan, said in an email that he hadn’t seen the complaint against Evans and couldn’t comment.
The video, which was later deleted from Evans’ social media page, shows him wearing a helmet and clamoring at the door to storm in after Congress met for an expected vote to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
“We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in a packed doorway amid Trump followers holding flags. Once inside, Evans could be seen on video milling around the Capitol Rotunda, where historical paintings depict the republic’s founding, and yelling that there should be “no vandalizing.”
Evans’ lawyer has said he was acting as an amateur journalist recording the day’s events and that he was not involved in violence.
Several other state lawmakers across the country traveled to Washington, D.C., for demonstrations this week but it’s unknown if any other elected official joined the mob of Donald Trump supporters attacking the U.S. Capitol.
A growing number of Republicans and Democrats said they wanted to expel Evans from the legislature if he did not resign. Bryan said late Thursday that his client did not commit a crime and doesn’t plan to step down.
No one in the office of West Virginia Republican House leader Roger Hanshaw responded to an email requesting comment.
Kohl also announced Friday that an Arkansas man who was photographed sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the riots has been arrested. An Alabama man who had Molotov cocktails and firearms in his truck parked near the U.S. Capitol was also arrested.
You can read the full complaint:
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.