A pro-Trump state lawmaker who filmed himself storming the U.S. Capitol has resigned and more arrests were announced Saturday as part of an investigation into Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol.
Derrick Evans, a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, announced his resignation Saturday in a one-sentence letter to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
Evans was charged with entering a restricted area on the Capitol grounds and disorderly conduct. If convicted, he faces a year and a half in federal prison. Evans broadcast a Facebook Live video of himself breaking into the building with a crowd of rioters, at one point saying, “We’re in, we’re in, baby.” In an earlier video posted on Facebook, now deleted, Evans warned that the rioters would storm the building.
Evans has since said he wanted to apologize, according to media reports.
Richard Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, was arrested Friday morning and charged with entering the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, where photos show him sitting in Pelosi’s office with his boot up on a desk. He faces three counts: knowingly entering and remaining in restricted grounds; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property or records, according to court documents released Friday. Barnett, who faces up to one year in prison, is in custody in Arkansas awaiting extradition to Washington.
Jacob Anthony Chansley, who appeared in numerous photos and videos wearing a fur hat with horns and paint on his face, was arrested Saturday and faces charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct on the U.S. Capitol grounds. Chansley is scheduled to appear in court next week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Esther Winne told The Associated Press by email. Chansley did not immediately respond to messages.
Doug Jensen, 41, of Des Moines, Iowa, was jailed early Saturday on federal charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct counts, for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. Video posted online during the storming of the Capitol showed a man who appears to be Jensen, who is white, pursuing a Black police officer up an interior flight of stairs as a mob of people trails several steps behind. At several points, the officer says, “Get back,” to no avail. It is not known if Jensen has an attorney.
Evans and Barnett are among those charged so far in federal court in the District of Columbia in connection with the rioting. The charges were filed Thursday and unsealed Friday. In addition, about 40 others were charged in the D.C. Superior Court, most of them for illegal entry and curfew violations.
Adam Johnson, 36, of Florida was arrested late Friday in Pinellas County, Florida, where he remains in custody on a U.S. Marshals warrant, according to jail records. A man who appears to be Johnson was seen in a viral photo carrying the House Speaker’s lectern through the Capitol. The charges against him were not known.
Among those charged in federal court, Lonnie Coffman, a 70-year-old Alabama resident, was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying a pistol without a license. Inside his truck parked behind the Capitol, police on Wednesday found 11 Molotov cocktails that an official said “would essentially constitute homemade napalm.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the charges announced so far “are just the beginning of the FBI’s ongoing efforts to hold those responsible” for Wednesday’s rioting accountable.
“We will continue to aggressively investigate each and every individual who chose to ignore the law and instead incite violence, destroy property and injure others,” Wray said in a statement.
Ken Kohl, the first assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said the Justice Department has assigned hundreds of prosecutors and agents to what he described as an active, fluid, 24/7 investigation. Working out of three command centers, the investigators are combing surveillance videos and social media images to identify and track down the rioters.
“The department will spare no resources in our efforts to hold all of these people accountable, and it's going to be something that we'll be continuing to work on in the coming hours, days and weeks as we pursue this investigation,” Kohl told reporters on a press call.
The rioting and looting erupted Wednesday afternoon when hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump, angry over Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, forced their way into the building that contains the House and Senate while lawmakers were meeting in a joint session to certify Biden’s victory.
In a video released late Thursday, Trump condemned the violence and called for healing.
For weeks Trump has falsely claimed that he won the election in a landslide but was robbed of his victory – a claim believed by many of his followers. During a rally near the White House on Wednesday, Trump urged thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol to protest the election results.
Asked if federal prosecutors were examining Trump's role in inciting the assault on the Capitol, Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters Thursday, "We're looking at all actors here, and anyone that had a role and the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they're going to be charged."
The subsequent violence left five dead including a Capitol Police officer.
Law enforcement officials said they were investigating the circumstances leading up to the officer's death but would not say whether they were pursuing a murder case.