According to a report in Law & Crime, Derrick Evanas, a former West Virginia lawmaker who had been sentenced to prison for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, and live-streamed parts of it, is back under scrutiny from federal prosecutors after a radio interview he gave that made is seem like he was changing his mind about his previously-stated regret about his actions on that day.
Evans, 37, livestreamed a video of himself entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as one of the many supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the building that day.
Evans can be heard yelling “It’s time to go; they’re in on the other side! The other side’s in! The other side’s in!” Evans continued, “We’re at the door now. There’s cops on the inside stopping us now.”
“The door’s cracked! We’re goin’ in!” Evans shouted as the rotunda doors opened, leading to his proclamation that “Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
Evans was inside the Capitol for only about 10 minutes.
According to court filings, Evans later tried to delete the video so that there was “no evidence” of his breaching the federal building. He then pleaded guilty to “obstructing, impeding, or interfering with law enforcement officers while engaged in the performance of their official duties during a civil disorder, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.”
As part of the deal, he acknowledged that he “admits that the civil disorder obstructed, delayed, or adversely affected the performance of a federally protected function.”
The judge in Evans’ case sentenced Evans to a $2,000 fine, three months in prison, and three years of probation.
When he heard the sentence, Evans said he regretted his actions and that he is a “good person who unfortunately was caught up in a moment:”
“I will forever bear the reminder that I made a crucial mistake. I’ve let down myself, I’ve let down my community and most importantly I’ve let down my family.”
That was less than one month ago, on June 22. One day later, however, according to federal prosecutors, Evans had apparently changed his tune.
In a Notice of Defendant’s Post Sentencing Statements, prosecutors argued:
“In a 24-minute radio interview given by Evans on ‘The Tom Roten Morning Show,’ which aired the morning following his sentencing, Evans made several statements inconsistent with the contrition that the government credited and on which the Court relied in imposing Evans’s sentence.”
Prosecutors were not trying to change Evan’s sentence conditions, but rather were seeking to let the Court know they were concerned with “the speed and degree of Evans’s about face.”
The DOJ said “Evans made multiple, self-exonerating statements that are directly contradicted by his own livestream video from January 6, 2021.”
Evans told Roten that he “had no intention” of going to the Rotunda doors, which was a major contradiction from his actions caught on film in the live stream.
He added, “I never honestly thought that we was going to be inside the Capitol, never crossed my mind,” and “nobody was trying to get inside [the building] at that point [when the barriers were breached]. They wanted to get to the Capitol steps, basically, make their voices heard.”
Prosecutors say that Evan’s revisionist history is “clearly contradicted by the multiple points throughout Evan’s livestream video wherein he verbalizes his intent and the crowd’s intent to enter the Capitol building[.]”
Evans’ also told Roten that he had footage of a “lady police officer” waving MAGA rioters into the East Plaza on Jan. 6, which contradicts the actual video:
“In Evans’s livestream video, rioters are screaming as they grapple with bike rack barricades and push against a line of police. There is no police officer visible on Evans’s livestream video waving rioters into the Plaza, and Evans himself states in the video, just after the barricades were breached: ‘They’re in. We’re in. Everybody’s in … There’s too many for them [the police] to do anything about it. Every side, every angle!’”
Roten asked Evans if he regretted actions, like he told the judge the day before, to which Evans said:
“I regret I’m gonna be away from my family. But I’m never going to regret standing up to tyranny and standing up for the people who believe in me and standing up for the future of my children. I’m never going to have regrets when it comes to standing up and doing what’s right, at the end of the day.”
Evans told Roten he thought the “worst thing” he saw on January 6 was when people standing on a statue and taking a picture and added that while he was fairly elected in 2020 to his state lawmaker position, Trump “without a doubt” had the presidential election stolen from him by Democrats and Joe Biden.
Evans had been elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates right before the Capitol attack, and took office on Dec. 1, 2020. He resigned on Jan. 9, 2021, after having been seen as one of the rioters at the Capitol.