Oregon House expels Republican who let rioters into state Capitol building

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The Oregon House of Representatives ousted one of its own for his role in a riot that occurred at the state Capitol.

Four-term Republican state Rep. Mike Nearman was expelled from the House on Thursday night in a 59-1 vote. He was the only person to cast a ballot in favor of him continuing his position.

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Nearman was removed for "disorderly behavior" after Dec. 21, 2020, when he was accused of letting rioters into the state Capitol building, which had been closed to the public for the pandemic.

His actions led to dozens of people gaining access to the House, some of whom were armed and wearing body armor, where they caused thousands of dollars in damages and injured six police officers.

“There's no reason to hear both sides and have at least something resembling due process,” Nearman said in a statement. “The party in power doesn't have to be fair — might makes right. So, if that's what you want to do, let's do what the people have sent us here to do. Let's decide."

A few dozen Nearman supporters stood outside the Capitol to support him. There were chants of “let us in” and banging on a door.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat, introduced the House resolution to remove Nearman from office on Monday, and she created a bipartisan committee that voted to move the resolution to the House floor Thursday.

“The Oregon House of Representatives has taken the unprecedented step of expelling one of its members,” she said in a statement. “Elected leaders must be held to the highest possible standard. The facts are clear that Mr. Nearman unapologetically coordinated and planned a breach of the Oregon State Capitol. His actions were blatant and deliberate, and he has shown no remorse for jeopardizing the safety of every person in the Capitol that day. Given the extraordinary circumstances, this was the only reasonable path forward. Safety — for the public, building employees, legislators and their staff — continues to be my top priority in managing this extraordinary session.”

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Nearman’s expulsion came after a video showed him appearing to coach people on how and where to gather ahead of time.

He was charged on two misdemeanor counts in April for his role in the events of Dec. 21, including first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass.

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Tags: News, Oregon, State Legislatures, Protests

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Oregon House expels Republican who let rioters into state Capitol building