The recording, which has since been deleted, left state officials from both parties slamming his participation in the mob of pro-Trump supporters who broke into Congress as lawmakers convened to confirm President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 elections. Amid the violent coup attempt, one woman was shot and killed by police and three others died of medical emergencies.
In a post shared on his social media hours later, Evans, who did not deny his participation in Wednesday’s events, said he was on a bus headed back to West Virginia.
He claimed that he traveled to the U.S. Capitol to film the events as an “independent member of the media.”
“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,” Evans said in the statement. “I was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.”
West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) condemned the mob and said Evans would have to answer for his actions.
“What occurred today is unpatriotic, un-American and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible,” Hanshaw said in a statement to West Virginia Metro News. “He will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”
Democrats called for Evans to be suspended from the legislature.
“This is unacceptable behavior and conduct unbecoming of an elected official,” House Minority Leader Doug Skaff (D) told Metro News. “I am calling on Speaker Hanshaw to suspend Delegate Derrick Evans’ rights, privileges and access to West Virginia Capitol Building, immediately and indefinitely, to allow for investigation into this incident.”