CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia lawmaker recorded a video of himself and other supporters of President Donald Trump storming the United States Capitol on Wednesday, prompting calls for his resignation and thousands of signatures on an online petition calling for his impeachment.
In the video of Republican Del. Derrick Evans, later deleted from his social media page, is shown wearing a helmet and shouting at the door to enter after Congress gathered for an expected vote to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
“Were in! Keep it up, baby!” He said in a crowded doorway amid Trump supporters holding flags and complaining about being sprayed with pepper. Once inside, Evans could be seen on a video circling the Capitol rotunda, where historical paintings depicted the founding of the republic, and shouted “no vandalism”.
To concern the video here.
More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition calling for its revocation.
State House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Evans will have to “respond to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what happened today.”
House spokesman Jared Hunt told The Associated Press that Hanshaw “is always gathering as much information as possible about what happened and will assess any potential consequences once the totality of the situation will be understood “. Hanshaw had said in his statement that he had yet to speak to Evans.
“While freedom of speech and peaceful protest are a core value of American society, storming government buildings and participating in a violent and intentional disruption of one of our country’s most fundamental political institutions is a crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, ”says Hanshaw.
Democratic leaders have said Evans “should resign immediately” and “be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law” for being part of a violent mob.
“He must be held responsible for participating in an act of insurgency against the United States government and for risking the lives of lawmakers and the Capitol Police,” said Belinda Biafore, President of the Democratic Party from West Virginia, and Rod Snyder, vice president, in a statement. joint statement.
Evans was elected in November for a first term to represent Wayne County. He later said in a statement on Facebook that he was returning to West Virginia and “was just there as an independent member of the media to film the story.”
A video shows him chanting Trump’s name before entering the Capitol.
Evans was among thousands of Trump supporters who traveled to the nation’s capital to protest the Electoral College results on Tuesday and Wednesday. Their anger at the baseless allegations of fraud in the presidential race led to hundreds of people storming and occupying the Capitol building, interrupting the expected vote to certify Biden’s victory.
“The violence that we are witnessing right now in Washington, DC is absolutely unacceptable and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible,” Republican Gov. Jim Justice said in a tweet. “People have every right to make their voices heard peacefully. But there is no place in our country for this type of activity.
U.S. state senators have said they are safe in Washington. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin called it an insurgency. “These thugs cannot and do not want to drive us away,” he said in a statement. “We will continue to govern.
Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito also lamented the protest.
“It’s the United States of America,” she said in a statement. “We don’t do that. It’s not who we are.
Republican United States Representative Alex Mooney tweeted a photo of himself holding an emergency balaclava, adding that he was safe after the Capitol breach.
Before Congress certified the Electoral College vote, the West Virginia GOP on Twitter amplified lies that Biden failed to win the election. After the attack on Capitol Hill, the party account retweeted a video of Trump telling his “very special” supporters to go home.
Trump said “we must have peace”, but not without repeating baseless claims that the elections were stolen.