SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Lawmakers in Oregon on Thursday night expelled a Republican legislator who let violent, far-right protesters into the Statehouse.

Rep. Mike Nearman was the first member of the House to be expelled in its 160-year history. The House voted 59-1 to remove him from the Legislature for disorderly behavior.

At an earlier hearing Rep. Paul Holvey said Nearman let in protesters who had planned to occupy the Capitol. Some were armed.

Nearman was seen on security video opening a door to protesters on Dec. 21 as lawmakers met in emergency session to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters barged into the building, which was closed to the public because of coronavirus safety protocols, got into shoving matches with police and sprayed officers with bear spray.

“It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of the reason we are here today,” Holvey said. “Rep. Nearman enabled armed, violent protesters to enter the Capitol, breaching the security of the Capitol, which was officially closed to the public, and also endangered the authorized staff and legislators inside the building.”

Some of the protesters had guns. Among those who gathered outside the Capitol in Salem that day were people espousing false QAnon conspiracy theories about Democrats kidnapping babies. They carried American flags and banners for former President Donald Trump. One carried a sign calling for the arrest of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, Holvey said.

Nearman was unapologetic as he read a statement to the committee.

“The fact is that I exited the building and members of the public entered into the Capitol building, a place they had a right to be — a place the Legislative Assembly had no right to exclude them from,” Nearman said. He said that on the advice of his attorney he would not answer questions.

Hundreds of people provided written testimony to the House Special Committee On December 21, 2020, which is composed of three democrats and three Republicans.

Some people who testified excoriated Nearman as a seditionist. Others praised him for letting people into the Capitol, saying residents should be allowed to attend even though hearings are livestreamed on video.

“Mike Nearman’s behavior ... was abhorrent and anti-democratic,” David Alba said. “Furthermore, by aiding and supporting extremists, he has placed people’s lives in danger. He should be removed from office and he is not fit to represent my district.”

After video emerged in local news reports Friday showing Nearman choreographing how he would let protesters into the Capitol, pinpointing the door he would open for them and disclosing his cellphone number so protesters could text him, all of his House GOP colleagues on Monday strongly recommended he step down.

But Nearman’s supporters said they elected him and the House should not expel him. One supporter suggested those 22 GOP lawmakers be voted out of office.

“We see you compromising Republicans that whittle away at concepts of morality, liberty, and justice to take a knee to the woke mob,” Casey Ocupe said in written testimony. “May your Republican constituents take no mercy on you.”

On Monday, House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced a resolution that would have the House expel Nearman if two-thirds of its members vote in favor. She appointed the committee to consider the matter.

Kotek credited riot police, who finally pushed out the protesters, with preventing a full-scale assault like the one by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She said some were visibly injured and shaken.

Nearman has not responded to numerous requests from The Associated Press for comment. He told a conservative radio talk show that a video presentation he held on Dec. 16 “was me setting up the 21st.” He indicated that his actions were civil disobedience because he objected to the Capitol being closed to the public.

Nearman also faces two misdemeanor criminal charges and has said he will seek a trial by jury.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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(33) comments

Husky Loyalist

A capital "breach"? They make it sound like the fortress was invaded by an army when in fact a total of 4 people entered the door and then were escorted out of the building. The State Constitution requires public access during the session. These four people were not armed, not carrying banners and walked through an unlocked door. You can bet that if this Rep was a Democrat nothing would have happened. Democrat super majority along with some weak knee Republicans equals tyranny.

dickey

Correct. There is nothing but tyranny in the State Capitol today. All these politicians should be voted Out of Office!

racecar57

Amen !!

guest23463

man, you right wingers really like downplaying premeditated plans to change the will of the people.

Beyondthewhy

Sorry guest23463, no will of the people involved here just will of the tyrant queen and her democrat cronies to seal off a public building that should be open to the public!!!

racecar57

You are so wrong !! The Democrats are the ones that are going against the will of the people with all their fascist laws !!!!

racecar57

You are correct in your assessment and I agree that I will never support any of the Republicans in the house that voted for his expulsion including my representative !!

Beyondthewhy

Nearman should set up a government in exile. Either that or claim he's homeless and wanting to camp in the capitol on public property. Seems reasonable to me!!!

dickey

Ditto!

racecar57

How true !!

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

59-1? Ouch. Well, since a bunch of his own party voted him out, then I'd say he pretty much deserved it. Still, a republican gets the hammer, while dems still skate on Jan. 6. Where's the video Nancy? Which capitol cop shot and kiIIed Ashli Babbitt? Why is Derek Chauvin's life over, and yet you're protecting Babbitt's murderer? Yeah, that's consistent and fair..not.

WebFootSTi

I agree with you 99%. Have you visited The Gateway Pundit site? I think you would like it.

guest23463

Protecting Babbitt's murderer? She was told to stop by an armed officer, she didn't, she got shot. Don't you guys always say "just do what the officer says and you won't get hurt"? She should have just complied, right?

RetDOD

Just goes to show you what different people interpret watching the same video.

I've walked out the door at thousands of places behind that "same guy".

Oregon has no Republican party members in office now.

The one they did have was just voted off the bus to Hades.

guest23463

Ehhh, more like goes to show you didn't watch the video of him plotting the whole thing.

WebFootSTi

Yep. We have RINO's on the right.

racecar57

Agreed !!!!!

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

Another AP leftist editorial with NO actual evidence, just debunked Trump hater echo chamber narratives.

guest23463

talk about echo chamber narratives. how is THE VIDEO OF HIM TELLING PEOPLE HIS CELL PHONE NUMBER AND THAT THEY SHOULD TEXT HIM WHICH ENTRANCE THEY ARE IN AND HE WILL LET THEM IN not enough evidence? you are delusional!

mairez

Who voted "No" on the expulsion?

dickey

Nearman did. Anyone with a brain and no agenda....should have.

dickey

Mike Nearman. Good people should have, but they are cowards.

racecar57

Amen !!!

Cat of the Canals

Will his Tr**p mob friends be invited to his criminal trial?

dickey

There should be no criminal trial for Nearman, there needs to be one for all the Democrats in Salem.

dickey

I fully agree. Kate Brown and all the Democrats in Salem should be brought up on charges.

racecar57

Agreed !!!!

dickey

Do you say the same thing about Kate Brown, Tina Kotek and Joann Hardesty?

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Will your jihadi liberal mob friends continue to be enabled to destroy Portland, Kitty in the Ditch?

Cat of the Canals

You're my favorite keyboard warrior! I love your insults and rabbit holes

Merlin

Democrats in action!

dickey

Yes indeed. A tutorial on how to eliminate you opposition so your can keep all the power to yourselves and dictate for years to come.

racecar57

With the help of all the Rino Republicans and lying media !!!!!

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