West Virginia state legislator faces charges; Death of an FBI investigating officer

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Riot police push back a crowd of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump after storming the Capitol building in Washington, DC. January 6, 2021.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images

A West Virginia state lawmaker has been charged with entering a restricted area of ​​the U.S. Capitol after broadcasting live in the building with a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump.

Ken Kohl, a senior assistant federal prosecutor in Washington, announced the charge against Republican state delegate Derrick Evans during an appeal in which he presented dozens of new charges against members of the crowd who violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

His lawyer, John Bryan, said he had not seen the complaint against Mr Evans and could not comment. He did not say whether Mr. Evans had been taken into custody, but WSAZ television posted a video on Twitter showing FBI agents escorting the handcuffed lawmaker from a house.

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“He’s a good man. And thank you, Mr. Trump, for inviting a riot at the White House, ”a woman identifying herself as Mr. Evans’ grandmother told station reporters while her grandson was in custody.

Lawmakers from at least seven other states have traveled to Washington, DC, to support Mr. Trump and protest against the electoral vote count confirming Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. It is not known if another elected official joined the attack on the Capitol.

A growing number of Republicans and Democrats have said they want to kick Mr. Evans out of the legislature if he doesn’t resign. Mr Bryan said Thursday evening that the delegate had committed no crime and had no plans to resign.

No one in the office of West Virginia Republican House leader Roger Hanshaw responded to an email requesting comment.

In his now-deleted video, widely shared online, Mr Evans calls out from inside a crowded doorway to the Capitol building, along with others trying to make his way inside. He screams with other Trump loyalists and bangs his fist at a law enforcement officer who lets them in.

Mr Evans’ lawyer said he was acting as an amateur reporter recording the day’s events and was not involved in the violence.

After entering the building, the video shows Mr. Evans moving around the Capitol Rotunda, where historic paintings depict the founding of the republic, and imploring others not to vandalize the artwork and the busts. Some rooms were then vandalized.

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” Our house! Mr. Evans shouts from inside the halls of the Capitol. “I don’t know where we are going. I am the crowd.

A man pictured sitting at the office of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also among those facing federal charges arising from the siege, federal prosecutors said on Friday.

Mr Kohl said the department was accusing Richard Barnett of Arkansas for entering Ms Pelosi’s office where he “left a note and he withdrew some of the speaker’s mail.”

In addition, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen announced that the FBI will team up with the Washington Police Department to jointly investigate the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained while defending the Capitol. American.

“Just because you’ve left the DC area, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out that you were part of the criminal activity on Capitol Hill,” Steven D’antuono, deputy director of the US Field Office. FBI in Washington. , said during a telephone press briefing.

Mr D’antuono declined to characterize the investigation into Mr Sicknick’s death as an investigation into a homicide pending appeal, saying the circumstances of the officer’s death were still under review.

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“We’re not going to get into it at this point because it’s an active investigation,” he said.

Late Thursday evening, Capitol Police confirmed that Mr. Sicknick died of injuries while on duty at the U.S. Capitol during the riot.

After being injured by protesters, the officer returned to his office where he collapsed. He died in a hospital.

Capitol Police said the Washington Police Department’s homicide unit was investigating the death.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the family and fellow officers of US Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who succumbed last night to injuries he sustained while defending the US Capitol from the crowds. violent storm that stormed it on January 6, ”Mr. Rosen said in a statement.

With a report from Reuters

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