Evans finally made the right choice
Among the angry mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was incoming West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans, R-Wayne, who posted a video online from the Capitol interior yelling, “We’re in! … Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
His illegal actions demanded a swift and severe response.
West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, said Evans’ actions could warrant criminal prosecution.
“The peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock principle of our republic, and is what has held the United States up as that shining city on a hill for nearly 250 years,” Hanshaw said in a Jan. 6 press release. “While free speech and peaceful protests are a core value of American society, 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.”
Some U.S. attorneys have also noted they could seek criminal prosecutions of those that stormed the building, including Evans. Five people died as the result of the rioters’ violence, including an on-duty police officer and Army veteran, according to National Public Radio. Eighty rioters have, thus far, been charged by the police for their actions that day.
Thankfully, Evans came to grips with the fact that his actions at the U.S. Capitol had ruined his reputation in the eyes of many of his constituents and the nation in general. Protesting over the presidential election results is one thing; forcing his way into the U.S. Capitol interior, another.
On Saturday, Evans officially resigned from the West Virginia House of Delegates, sparing West Virginia ongoing national embarrassment.
“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,” Evans said. “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.”
Of all Evans’ actions since Jan. 6, resigning from the House is the only wise decision he’s made. Fellow delegates should be saying a silent thank-you that Evans’ actions — and what to do about them — won’t end up being the top agenda item when the House meets for its first gathering of 2021.
The Legislature has many important issues to deal with this year, and the criminal actions of a delegate would have taken time away from matters that could benefit West Virginians. It’s good that this aspect of Evans’ actions has been dealt with.