An Oregon lawmaker has been criminally charged for letting right-wing protesters enter the state Capitol on Dec. 21 during a special session, The Oregonian reports.
Security video shows Rep. Mike Nearman (R-Independence) opening a door and letting a throng of rioters into the building. Nearman’s court date to face the charges is May 11.
As The Oregonian points out: The first-degree official misconduct charge is for “allegedly knowingly taking action that constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties to benefit someone else” and the second charge is for “allegedly abetting another person to enter and remain in the Capitol.”
The incident happened when lawmakers were debating whether to extend the state’s eviction moratorium and other COVID-related funding. Outside, demonstrators had gathered to protest the state’s COVID restrictions. Video shows that as protesters breached the building, they fought with Oregon State Police and Salem police who tried to push them back. The police were ultimately overrun by the protesters — some of whom were armed with guns — after they sprayed police with a chemical substance. The protesters then made their way into the vestibule, where they were met by police who were ultimately able to contain the situation and remove them.
Numerous lawmakers called for Nearman to resign over the incident.
“Nearman should have resigned in January, the moment that security footage confirmed his involvement and assistance in the attack,” Oregon House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner (D) said in a statement at the time. “Given today’s charges, it’s clear that he’s got to go. I urge every one of my colleagues, in every caucus, to call this out for what it is and join me in demanding that Nearman resign immediately.”
Watch security video of the incident below: