West Virginia Delegate Who Joined D.C. Capitol Riot Resigns Amid Pressure, Federal Charges

Derrick Evans, who was arrested Friday for breaking into the U.S. Capitol with a mob of pro-Trump supporters, has resigned from his position as a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

"I hereby resign as a member of the House of Delegates, effective immediately," Evans wrote in a letter submitted to Governor Jim Justice and the House on Saturday.

"The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it's best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love," Evans said, according to a statement released by the legislative body.

"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. 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.'"

On Friday, Evans was taken into custody and federally charged with "one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Entering a restricted government building can be punishable by fine and result in up to 10 years in prison, according to the Cornell Law School's website.

His arrest came after he live-streamed a video showing that he surged through a door in the interior of the Capitol building. In the footage, Evans can be heard yelling: "We're in, we're in. Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!"

A cell phone recording of a portion of now-deleted video. “We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” https://t.co/IKQzeLoVFf pic.twitter.com/pacZiVN0Cp

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 6, 2021

At least five people have been killed in connection to the Wednesday riot, including one Capitol Hill police officer. The violent mob broke through windows and barriers, clashed with police, and ransacked various congressional offices.

Evans previously defended his presence in the Capitol by saying he was acting as "an independent member of the media to film history."

His resignation comes amid growing pressure from colleagues who had debated removing him from office.

Capitol Hill riot
Derrick Evans, A WV House Delegate who was arrested for attending a pro-Trump riot on Wednesday has resigned from office. Here, pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty

Republican House Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Saturday that he was "deeply troubled," by Wednesday's events, and called Evans' resignation "a good first step."

"Delegate Evans was unfortunately a part of the events this week that threatened what has historically made America a beacon for the rest of the world: the peaceful transfer of power. Earlier today, Delegate Evans made the decision to resign from his position in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Now, we return to the work of rebuilding our nation's political climate," he said, according to a House Delegates news release.

"In announcing his resignation, Delegate Evans said he accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to those he's hurt. In this time of overheated, hyperbolic political rage, I think that's a good first step for us all to take right now."

Newsweek reached out to Evans for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.