A West Virginia lawmaker was among the many supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 6).
Republican Del. Derrick Evans took a video of himself and others breaching the security barriers of the building. In the video, he wore a helmet and was seen walking into the Capitol. “We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in the video, which has since been deleted.
Once he made it inside the building, he walked around the Capitol Rotunda and yelled, “No vandalizing!” to the other rioters who were looking at the historical paintings. “This is our house and we respect it.” Many of the rioters were taking photos of the statues and filming themselves on their phones.
Evans then spoke to a Capitol security officer and said, “God bless you, sir. We still respect you,” adding that there was “nothing personal” about their actions. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we’re in here right now!” Evans said while walking down the hall. “Who thought this was going to happen today?”
State House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.” Roger added that “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.”
Evans later released a statement on Facebook saying that he “traveled across the country to film many different events,” and that he was in D.C. to witness history. “I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred,” he wrote. “I was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.”