An Oregon state Representative who let violent demonstrators into the Oregon state Capitol building in December — as in, he literally opened a door allowing the crowd to move into the building that was otherwise closed off to the public — is now facing criminal charges. State Rep. Mike Nearman (R) has been charged with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass, both of which are misdemeanors. Nearman originally let demonstrators into the Oregon state Capitol building on December 21 as legislators deliberated over the distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief money in the state.
Oregon GOP Rep. Mike Nearman has just been charged with two crimes after video shows him leaving his seat in the middle of an emergency closed-door session on covid relief in Dec. to let insurrectionists into the building. He then went back in at a different entrance. pic.twitter.com/yRwDnLj34F
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 2, 2021
As summarized by The Washington Post regarding the original incident, “Rioters… tried to bust through the Capitol building’s doors, leaving the glass cracked,” while video footage from the day reveals “at least one man repeatedly attacking journalists reporting on the protest.” At least one of the demonstrators also used a chemical irritant, identified as bear spray, against officers. The right-wingers were inside the Oregon state Capitol for almost an hour before police officers successfully cleared them from the building.
Besides the criminal charges that he’s newly facing, Nearman has also been removed from his committee assignments in the state legislature. Nearman has openly admitted that he purposefully allowed the partially armed crowd access to the state Capitol, self-importantly insisting that he believes that “when… the Oregon Constitution says that the legislative proceedings shall be ‘open,’ it means open.”
Three individuals who were present in Salem (the Oregon state capital city) on that infamous day in December appear to have later been present at the storming of the U.S. Capitol building in January, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported earlier this year, and at least two of them went inside. Prosecutors have focused on those who went inside the Capitol building for charges.
During the D.C. rioting, 31-year-old Oregon resident David Medina was captured on video outside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), while 59-year-old Oregon resident Tim Davis was outside the Capitol as rioters swarmed the premises. Oregon Public Broadcasting found photographic documentation of a third man who also appeared to have been at both the Salem and D.C. displays of violence, but the outlet couldn’t confirm his name.