He stood in a small hall. Then, the man walked over to an outside door of what appeared to be a government building. Outside of the door stood men dressed for an insurrection. The guy looked at the wayward soldiers gathering outside. And opened the door. Passing close to one of them in the doorway as he exited, and they breached the building as if this was war, and they were entering enemy territory. The man kept on walking. Who was this? And where did it happen?
Our first thought was this was a suited person letting Donald Trump’s military into the U.S. Capitol, but that was wrong. State Representative Mike Nearman (R-OR) opened the Oregon Capitol door for the Oregon Trump soldiers. And finally, someone was punished.
Nearman was the first individual ever expelled from the Oregon Legislature. We discovered that he not only let the military in, but he was involved in planning an armed incursion against his own government. A government he served.
State Representative Julie Fahey (D) spoke during the brief debate over Nearman’s future after he was caught on a security camera, according to the Oregon television/radio station OPB:
‘This is potentially the most serious and historic vote any of us will ever take in our career as legislators.’
The legislature allowed Nearman unlimited time to respond. His defense was that the closure of the state Capitol during the COVID-19 pandemic was unconstitutional. He was right to allow people into the building:
‘You’re considering expelling a member, for the first time in history, because he thinks that people should have access to their Capitol, especially during session. After this session, we’re all going to go out to dinner or stop at the grocery store, or maybe tomorrow we’ll shop and buy clothes or get our oil change, because all these places are open, but not this building.;
Oregon’s House approved a resolution:
‘[It] formally found Nearman’s act of opening a Capitol door for a far-right crowd on Dec. 21 amounted to “disorderly behavior”, the constitutional standard for ejecting a legislator. The resolution passed by a vote of 59-1, with only Nearman voting against.’
Representative Andrea Salinas (D) commented:
‘[It was] upsetting to learn that Rep. Nearman was planning and coordinating an attack on our Capitol… The trauma of that day will not leave with Rep. Nearman.’
House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced a “resolution to expel Nearman and forming a special committee to consider it.” He also sent Nearman a letter with one request:
‘Given the newest evidence that has come to light regarding the events of December 21, 2020, it is our belief as friends and colleagues that it is in the best interests of your caucus, your family, yourself, and the state of Oregon for you to step down from office.’
Representative Bill Post (R) wrote a letter urging Nearman to resign. He wrote this on his own website:
‘About five weeks ago, as one of the closest colleagues he has in the Capitol, I asked ‘is there ANY further video or other evidence?’ He said “no.” That is the crux of the problem: he lied. To me personally and to the Republican caucus.’
Representative Daniel Bonham (R) decided to vote to expel Nearman, even though he admired his intention to personally open access to the public:
‘I believe that’s what he wanted to do. There was a great error in judgment that day… I saw the people outside. Nobody should opened a door to the people who were here that day.’
Nearman appeared on the conservative radio host Lars Larson’s show before the vote, vowing to force the House to vote him out. He would never resign:
Someday you’re gonna be watching “Jeopardy” and somebody’s gonna say, “Who is Mike Nearman?” And that’s gonna be the right answer.’
Newman was defiant as he continued his defense before the special House committee:
‘Expelling me will not make the building any safer. What will make everyone safer is if legislative leadership, beginning with the Speaker and the Senate president, admit that what happened in this building on December 21st was wrong and never should have happened. They never should have excluded the public from the public’s building.’
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.