Lawmaker Expelled for Helping Armed Extremists Storm the Oregon State Capitol

Republican state Rep. Mike Nearman allowed protestors to flood into the building while the legislature was in session.
June 11, 2021, 2:57pm
Pro-Trump and anti-mask demonstrators hold a rally outside the Oregon State Capitol as legislators meet for an emergency session in Salem, Ore on Dec. 21, 2020​ before breaking into the building.
Pro-Trump and anti-mask demonstrators hold a rally outside the Oregon State Capitol as legislators meet for an emergency session in Salem, Ore on Dec. 21, 2020 before breaking into the building. (Photo by AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

Apparently, actively helping armed protestors into the Capitol building will get you kicked out of office—at least in Oregon.

The Oregon state legislature voted on Thursday evening to boot Republican state Rep. Mike Nearman from office, kicking him out for helping armed extremists breach the Capitol building in December.

On Dec. 21, Nearman had opened a door of the locked Capitol building and allowed protestors to flood into the building while the legislature was in session. Those protestors, some of them armed with rifles and wearing military gear bearing insignia from militia groups, went on to clash with police. The act was captured on security camera footage, enraging his colleagues.

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The building was locked down because of coronavirus restrictions, which the mob was protesting.

The final straw came when a second video emerged last week that showed him walking constituents through a plan he dubbed “Operation Hall Pass,” where he suggested they stand outside a particular door to the Capitol building and text him when out there so he could let them in. 

The vote came as Nearman faces criminal charges for his conduct, and in the wake of his refusal to resign. It was nearly unanimous at 59 to 1, with Nearman voting to keep himself in office.

“His actions were blatant and deliberate, and he has shown no remorse for jeopardizing the safety of every person in the Capitol that day,” said Oregon Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek after the vote. “Given the extraordinary circumstances, this was the only reasonable path forward.”

The state Capitol breach came just two weeks before a mob of protestors overran the U.S. Capitol in support of President Trump.

Congressional Democrats have alleged that a handful of House Republicans were in cahoots with some of the militia members who attacked the building, claiming they gave the soon-to-be-rioters tours beforehand to help them get a lay of the land of the Capitol and aid in their attacks.

Those allegations haven’t been proven, and Capitol Police are investigating whether they’re true.

“If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection—if they aided and abetted the crimes—there may have to be action taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in March.