Oregon House of Representatives expels lawmaker after video shows him appearing to tell protesters how to breach the state Capitol

(CNN) The Oregon state official, who faced a backlash after a video appeared telling protesters how to gain access to the closed state capitol, was expelled from the Oregon House of Representatives.

Republican Mike Nearman was expelled from the legislature on Thursday evening with a bipartisan 59-1 vote on House Resolution 3, House spokeswoman Tina Kotek said in a press release. Nearman was the only no-vote.

According to the resolution, Nearman “participated in disorderly conduct” during a special session on December 21, and also outlines the findings of an independent investigator who found that Nearman “deliberately helped protesters breach the security of the Capitol and gain unauthorized access Capitol building, which led to personal injury and property damage. ”

The resolution includes details of a recent video reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting that appeared to show Nearman telling a group of protesters how to “gain access to the State Capitol with the help of someone who is already inside.” receives. At the time, access to the Capitol was restricted to “authorized personnel” due to Covid restrictions.

The resolution also contained details of footage from security cameras showing Nearman pushing the door open as he left the building and walking around a protester who “stormed past him into the building, followed closely by a second protester who opened the door to numerous others Demonstrators who also stormed in “, on 21.

The demonstrators shouted “enemies of the state” according to the resolution and “arrested Kate Brown”, the state’s Democratic governor.

CNN approached Nearman for comment.

“The facts are clear that Mr. Nearman coordinated and planned a breach of the Oregon State Capitol without excuse,” Kotek said in a statement released after the deportation.

The spokesman described Nearman’s actions as “obvious and deliberate,” adding, “He has shown no remorse for compromising the safety of everyone in the Capitol that day. Given the extraordinary circumstances, this was the only sensible way forward.”

House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner, a Democrat, said Nearman created “a real security risk for every single person in the building, especially our Jewish and Black Indigenous, Colored (BIPOC) lawmakers and Capitol employees.”

In a letter on Monday referring to the video, House Republicans urged Nearman to resign, saying, “Given the latest evidence unearthed regarding the events of December 21, 2020, believe We, as friends and colleagues, that it is in the best interests of your group, your family, yourself and the state of Oregon that you step down, ”CNN previously reported.

Rep. Christine Drazan, the Republican chairman of the State House, described Nearman’s expulsion as an “extraordinary vote,” but it was necessary.

“Representative Nearman has recognized his principles without accepting responsibility for the consequences of his actions,” she said in a statement on Friday. “He did not choose to promote peaceful protest or civil disobedience. His plan to let people into the Capitol ended in violence, property destruction and injured police officers. This disregard for the rule of law leads us deeper into civil unrest and divisions. We want to reverse our state, we must adhere to a higher standard as we work to lead and serve the common good.

Nearman is the first member in legislature history to be expelled from the Oregon State House, according to the Democrats’ press release.

This story has been updated with additional reactions.


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