Calls for Firearms After a video surfaced of a GOP lawmaker hinting at opening the Oregon Capitol door to protesters, the lawmaker’s popularity grew.
Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican state legislator from Oregon, is under fire after journalists from Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) discovered a YouTube video of him explaining step-by-step instructions on how to get into the Oregon State Capitol with his help, just days before an actual breach occurred.
On December 16, 2020, during a special legislative session, the video was shot. Nearman instructs constituents on how to text him and which entrance in the Capitol he can open for them in the video, interspersing his instructions with denials about knowing anything that was planned.
NEW VIDEO: Watch Oregon’s @RepNearman walk people through the steps of breaching the Oregon Capitol… with his help.
The breach occurred a few days later.
@Oregonian Story videos adapted 9tNZpxZHnH https://t.co/9tNZpxZHnH pEQO6KsiaB (https://twitter.com/pEQO6KsiaB)
5 June 2021 — John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton)
“We’re talking about putting up Operation Hall Pass,” he says in the film, “which I have no knowledge of and will deny if you accuse me of knowing anything about.”
“But there would be some person’s cell phone that might be,” he added, before giving them a phone number that was cut from the video. “However, those were just random numbers I screened up. That isn’t someone’s actual phone. And if you SMS the phrase “I am at the west entrance” to that number during a session, someone might exit that door while you’re standing there. But I have no knowledge of that.”
On December 21, 2020, the Oregon State Capitol was hacked while lawmakers were meeting inside for a special legislative session to consider COVID-19 laws. Far-right protestors reportedly invaded the state Capitol building, urging Governor Kate Brown and lawmakers to open the economy and lift the epidemic restrictions, according to OPB.
Nearman seems to open a side entrance for demonstrators to enter the facility, according to security camera footage.
A new report released by an independent investigator found that Nearman’s actions “more likely than not set into motion a chain of events that impeded the ability of (the Capitol facilities manager) and others to function in the workplace, and denied them the benefits of the workplace.”
Nearman was charged with second-degree criminal and first-degree official misconduct in April. This is a condensed version of the information.