Oregon lawmakers, late Thursday night, removed one of their colleagues from office for the first time in state history, voting 59 to 1 to oust Representative Mike Nearman for his role in helping a far-right mob to pass the State. Capitol to break in December.
Mr Nearman, the only one not to vote, had faced mounting pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign this week, days after newly emerged video apparently showed him coaching people on how to enter the locked Capitol. Earlier security footage showed Mr Nearman exiting the building where the protesters had gathered, letting them in and causing a confrontation with law enforcement officers.
Mr Nearman, who is being charged with felony charges for his actions, said on Thursday that legislative leaders should never have barred the public from the Capitol — a decision that was a precautionary measure against the coronavirus. But the Democrats said Mr Nearman had shown complete disregard for the rule of law and the principles of democracy.
"His actions were blatant and deliberate, and he showed no regrets for endangering the safety of everyone in the Capitol that day," Democrat President Tina Kotek said in a statement after the vote.
The case bore striking resemblance to the United States Capitol siege that took place a few weeks later. Although the crowd in Salem was smaller, it was filled with Trump supporters waving flags, far-right agitators wearing body armor and people chanting for punishment, "Arrest Kate Brown," they shouted, referring to the Democratic governor of Oregon.
But while Republicans in Congress have resisted key actions during the Capitol siege… recently rejected an independent commission plan – G.O.P. Oregon lawmakers have converged in recent days on the idea that Mr. Nearman should leave. Each of his colleagues joined a letter this week asking for his resignation.
House Republican leader Christine Drazan said Mr Nearman had indiscriminately let violent protesters into 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 the question of whether there were indications that the opening of the door was planned.
“That plan endangered lawmakers, staff and police officers in the building,” Mr Post wrote.
In the video that surfaced last week, apparently streamed online in the days before the December 21st breach, Mr. Nearman shy of his own cell phone number, suggesting anyone trying to enter the Capitol could be texting him.
“Those are just random numbers I spat out. That's not someone's real cell phone," Mr Nearman said in the footage. "And during the session if you say 'I'm at the west entrance' and text that number over there, someone could leave that door while you're standing there. But I don't know about that. ''