Oregon lawmakers fired one of their colleagues for the first time in state history late Thursday night, voting 59 to 1 to oust Representative Mike Nearman for his role in helping a right-wing extremist crowd break the State Capitol in December.
Mr. Nearman, who was the only no-vote, had been under increasing pressure from his Republican colleagues to step down from the topic this week, days after the recently shown video apparently showed him coaching people on how to get into the closed Capitol. Previous security footage had shown how Mr. Nearman left the building where protesters had gathered, allowed them inside and launched a confrontation with police.
“His actions were obvious and deliberate, and he has shown no remorse for endangering the security of every person in the Capitol that day,” Democrat spokeswoman Tina Kotek said in a statement after the vote.
The case had striking similarities to the American siege of the Capitol that unfolded a few weeks later. Although the crowd in Salem was smaller, it was filled with Trump supporters waving flags, right-wing extremists wearing body armor and people shouting for punishment: “Arrest Kate Brown,” they shouted, referring to Oregon’s Democratic governor.
But while Republicans in Congress have resisted major action in the siege of the Capitol – recently rejecting a plan for an independent commission – GOP lawmakers in Oregon have gathered in recent days around the idea that Mr. Nearman had to go. Each of his colleagues attended a letter this week calling for his resignation.
The House’s Republican leader, Christine Drazan, said Mr. Nearman had undoubtedly allowed violent protesters to enter the building. Representative Bill Post, a Republican who said he was one of Mr. Nearman’s closest colleagues, wrote a message explaining that Mr. Nearman had lied to him personally and to other Republican colleagues about whether there was evidence that opening the door was planned.
“This plan exposed lawmakers, staff and police officers inside the building,” Mr. Mail.
In the video that surfaced last week, apparently streamed online in the days before the December 21 violation, Nearman coyly repeats his own cell phone number, suggesting anyone trying to enter the Capitol could text him .
“It’s just random numbers that I spit out. It’s not anyone’s real cell phone, ”said Mr. Nearman in the footage. “And if you say, ‘I’m at the west entrance’ during the session and text that number so someone can come out the door while you’re standing there. But I do not know anything about it. ”