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Oregon lawmaker charged in breach of state Capitol

Oregon Capitol security video shows Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, allowing protesters into building on Dec. 21
Oregon Capitol/file
Oregon Capitol security video shows Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, allowing protesters into building on Dec. 21

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Prosecutors have leveled two criminal charges against a Republican member of the Oregon House of Representatives who let far-right rioters into the state Capitol in December.

Rep. Mike Nearman was charged with official misconduct in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree.

Oregon State Police struggled to force the rioters back out of the Capitol, which was closed to the public, on Dec. 21 as lawmakers met in emergency session to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Marion County Deputy District Attorney Matthew Kemmy told Nearman’s attorney, Jason Short, in a letter Friday that his client must appear in court on May 11 or face arrest.

Short was out of his office late Friday afternoon and not available for comment. Nearman did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

Nearman had been seen on security cameras letting violent protesters into the Oregon State Capitol. They attacked authorities with bear spray. Outside the building, some of the protesters assaulted reporters and broke glass doors on the marble sheathed Capitol. The state police investigated the case.

In January, after Nearman’s role became clear from the security footage, House Speaker Tina Kotek called for his resignation and stripped him of his committee assignments.

“Rep. Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger,” Kotek said on Jan. 11. She referred to the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol that had occurred just days before, on Jan. 6, by supporters of then President Donald Trump.

“As we tragically saw last week during the insurrection at the United States Capitol, the consequences (here) could have been much worse had law enforcement not stepped in so quickly,” Kotek said.

According to court records, the misconduct charge alleges Nearman, who is from the town of Independence west of Salem, “did unlawfully and knowingly perform an act ... with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another.”

The charge is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum 364 days in prison and a $6,250 fine.

The trespass charge accused him of unlawfully letting others into the Capitol. It is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.

Oregon Public Broadcasting was first to report Nearman being charged, later announced by the office of Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson.

The Associated Press

Comments

34 Comments

      1. it really is amazing how you do exactly what you are told by Tucker, regardless of all of it being void of any reality – your cult and your kind are a disgrace to our country and all it stands for

  1. Had the lawmakers been instructed not to use that door? Was the door posted from the inside not to use and why was there not a Trooper at the door on the inside?

    1. Probably because at the time they didn’t expect a lawmaker to be stupid enough to let rioters into the state Capitol. Of course, we now know how stupid the Trumpsters are and what to expect from them and that the use of Troopers is now necessary where it wasnt before.

  2. I wonder when charges will be brought against Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown for allowing the destruction of Portland? Oh that’s right they are Democrats. Never mind.

      1. It’s way over the cop’s heads! We’re talking Treason and Sedition! It’s in the militarys hands! Military tribunal’s incoming.

  3. The penalties need to be MUCH higher for aiding armed insurrection.

    This was just a warm-up for the tRump-ordered, anti-democratic insurrection.

    He should have to pay for all the security and security infrastructure costs he has escalated.

    1. And here is the most blatant proof of how ignorance takes over the mind of a leftist. Maybe someday you will be tried and convicted in the eyes of the public as well. I hope you fair better than those you judge yourself. Guilty as charged! Oh wait I just tried and convicted you of ignorance.

      1. Committing crimes on closed circuit security cams is so tRumpy.

        Were you one of the idiots livestreaming your mob attack on the US Capitol? Or are they just your friends and family?

      1. Yawn. Your intellectual prowess and responses are so elementary. Hope you reach high school on the third or fourth try. We’re all pulling for you.

  4. I’m amazed that our government buildings are being closed-up and locked-down against our own people, but our borders are wide open to anyone at all!

  5. While I do not agree with his actions, I am not sure criminal charges are appropriate. Consider what has been allowed during “protest” activities. What you all fail to understand is that The Governor has kept the Capital closed, hiding under the “Covid” umbrella. Normally, citizens would, snd should be allowed to see the law makers passing legislation. That is what this was about. Private citizens wanting access to see their public servants at work. This was not an insurrection.

    1. They wanted access all right, but it wasn’t as innocuous as you’d like to pretend. “After nearly 10 minutes of jostling, and with the crowd forced out of the building, police retreated after being hit with what they later described as “bear mace…engaging in a standoff with police in a vestibule just off the building’s stately rotunda for nearly an hour. They chanted things like “enemies of the state,” and “arrest Kate Brown.” https://www.opb.org/article/2021/01/08/video-oregon-capitol-mike-nearman/

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