The legislature in the western US state of Oregon on Thursday voted 59-1 to remove a Republican lawmaker for his role in allowing right-wing protesters to dissolve the Capitol during a demonstration against the COVID-19 lockdown in December .
On the floor of the State House of Representatives late Thursday, Republicans with a majority Democrat voted to remove Representative Mike Nearman, with the incumbent Nearman the only dissenting vote. He is the first MLA expelled from the post in the state’s 162-year history.
A special bipartisan committee appointed by Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek to consider expulsion also voted to remove Nearman earlier in the day and sent the entire House for consideration.
Oregon State Police investigating a violation of the State Capitol identified Nearman from a security video in which he can be seen leaving the Capitol through a closed door where protesters had gathered, allowing him to enter. Got it. The Capitol was one of the public buildings closed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calls for Nearman’s resignation – many from his own party – began about a week ago when a second video surfaced, in which Nearman was advising potential protesters to come to the Capitol and give them his phone number.
In comments to Oregon media after the vote, Speaker Kotek said that expelling Nearman was “the only reasonable way forward.” She said, “The facts are clear that Mr. Nearman unapologetically coordinated and planned the breach of the Oregon State Capitol. His actions were clear and intentional, and he did so on that day for endangering the safety of everyone at the Capitol.” Has shown no remorse.”
Nearman, who argued he was only letting the public into a public building that should not have been closed, also faces two felony criminal charges and has said he will seek trial by jury.