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Oregon lawmakers remove state legislator Nearman over Capitol breach

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

(Update: Oregon House members expel Nearman)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers have expelled a Republican legislator who let violent, far-right protesters into the Statehouse. The expulsion Thursday night of Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, makes him the first member of the House to be expelled in its 160-year history.

The House voted 59-1 to remove him from the Legislature for disorderly behavior.

Nearman was seen on security video opening a door to protesters on Dec. 21 as lawmakers met in emergency session to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

At an earlier hearing, Rep. Paul Holvey, chairman of a special committee, said the protesters Nearman let in had planned to occupy the Capitol. Some of them were armed.

Nearman was unapologetic as he read a prepared statement to the committee, saying the Legislative Assembly had no right to exclude the public from the building.

The panel unanimously recommended earlier Thursday that Nearman be removed from the Legislature for disorderly behavior.

Nearman was seen on security camera video opening a door to protesters on Dec. 21 as lawmakers met in emergency session to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters barged into the building, which was closed to the public because of coronavirus safety protocols, got into shoving matches with police and sprayed officers with bear spray.

"It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of the reason we are here today,” Holvey said. “Rep. Nearman enabled armed, violent protesters to enter the Capitol, breaching the security of the Capitol, which was officially closed to the public, and also endangered the authorized staff and legislators inside the building.”

Some of the protesters had guns. Among those who gathered outside the Capitol in Salem that day were people espousing false QAnon conspiracy theories about Democrats kidnapping babies. They carried American flags and President Donald Trump banners. One carried a sign calling for the arrest of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, Holvey said.

“Nobody should have opened the door to the people who were here that day,” said committee member Rep. Daniel Bonham, a Republican. “Absolutely terrible judgment that day to open that door.”

Nearman was unapologetic as he read a prepared statement to the committee.

“The fact is that I exited the building and members of the public entered into the Capitol building, a place they had a right to be — a place the Legislative Assembly had no right to exclude them from,” Nearman said. He said that on the advice of his attorney he would not answer questions.

Hundreds of people provided written testimony to the House Special Committee On December 21, 2020, which is composed of three Democrats and three Republicans.

Some people who testified excoriated Nearman as a seditionist. Others praised him for letting people into the Capitol, saying residents should be allowed to attend even though hearings are livestreamed on video.

“Mike Nearman’s behavior ... was abhorrent and anti-democratic,” David Alba said. “Furthermore, by aiding and supporting extremists, he has placed people’s lives in danger. He should be removed from office and he is not fit to represent my district.”

After video emerged in local news reports Friday showing Nearman choreographing how he would let protesters into the Capitol, pinpointing the door he would open for them and disclosing his cellphone number so protesters could text him, all of his House GOP colleagues on Monday strongly recommended he step down.

On Monday, House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced a resolution that would have the House expel Nearman if two-thirds of its members vote in favor. She appointed the committee to consider the matter.

Kotek credited riot police, who finally pushed out the protesters, with preventing a full-scale assault like the one by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She said some were visibly injured and shaken.

Nearman has not responded to numerous requests from The Associated Press for comment. He told a conservative radio talk show that a video presentation he held on Dec. 16 “was me setting up the 21st.” He indicated that his actions were civil disobedience because he objected to the Capitol being closed to the public.

Nearman also faces two misdemeanor criminal charges and has said he will seek a trial by jury.

Government-politics / News / Oregon-Northwest

The Associated Press

Comments

52 Comments

      1. Even if he could read the article centuryloser#1 would tell us “there zero threat, zero” soooo much losing and complete failure karen!!!!ROTFLMAO!!!

    1. Guess you could say the same thing about what went on between Witt and Breese-Iverson but I hope they get rid of him, too. Our representatives need to be held to a higher standard then what’s been on display lately.

    1. Face it. You support criminal scum, and are proud of it. Why don’t you move to Mother Russia where you belong, you un-American refugee from a freak show?

  1. Surprised that more of the Repuke village idiots haven’t brought up Hunter Biden, Benghazi or something else stupid to change the subject with a lame distraction?

    1. Number1, you’re an idiot. Number 2, this was a bunch of idiots who trespassed. Nothing more. Much like Jan 6th. Wrong. But please for the love of God quit calling it an insurrection.

    2. Ya your right Benghazi is just a lame distraction. Its not like Americans were killed because of it. Wow what a worthless piece of garbage you are. To much of a coward to fight for your country but tough enough to spew some garbage like that behind a keyboard. Typical democrat. There is a reason why the military is predominantly conservative. Nobody on your side of the aisle has a spine or enough courage to defend the country you continually **** on. Big tough guy huh?

        1. Oh nevertrumper im sorry I said mean things that may have offended you. Weak spineless people like you, stoner, and eric are actually whats wrong with this country. I’m sorry but I am not going to stand idle while a couple of pampered little weasels crap on the people that have actually fought for your right to say whatever they want. Also you morons talk about deflection but I never said anything to the likes of “what happened on Jan 6 is fine by me”. I know this is hard for you all to comprehend you know with your lack of simple common sense and all, but not all conservatives support Trump. If you think a couple thousand people could take over the capital and overturn an election than you are much dumber than you seem.

      1. Benghazi was bad, but not even close to Jan 6th when Trump tried to stop the Democratic process for his personal gain. How can idiotic Trumpers defend Trump? We came so close to having a dictator, a crazy one. In the coming months and years we will get more info on who was involved, and how close Trump came to overthrowing the government.

      2. I have relatives in Arlington. Plenty of Democrats have died for their country.

        How many Americans were killed because of Trump on Jan 6th?

  2. How was the one in Washington NOT an insurrection? This was at the very least bordering on one. Throw this freak and especially tRump into so serious prison time.

    1. You know it’s legal to be on capital grounds. And it’s against the oregon constitution to not allow the public into the building during session. So technically the ones ordering the capital closed broke the law. If the capital is closed to the public then the “law making” must stop and the session ends.

  3. FAKE NEWS!!! According to FauxNooz, Mike Nearman doesn’t even exist!!! A search turns up nothing. Nada. Zero. You Beta-Sheeple believe everything the lame stream media feeds you, including fictional State Representatives!!!

    1. You are right, it is already starting to look like Portlandia, and with the always inclusive, loving left that are commenting here, that obviously have no other life, as they troll the KTVZ comment sections 24/7, waiting to comment, it is their only source to hopefully be heard, for all of their acquaintances have defriended them long ago. MOM, WHERE’S MY MEATLOAF.

  4. Garbage needs thrown out! It’s sad when your party is so disgusting, you have to resort to intimidation and voter suppression. I’m so glad you self absorbed folks are the minority.

  5. Thank you Oregon state legislators for using common sense in doing your duty when dealing with extremism. Wish US Congressional Republicans could find the honor to uphold their oath to defend the Constitution.

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