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Panel recommends Oregon Legislature expel colluding Republican

A panel of six Oregon state lawmakers has recommended that the state house expel Republican state representative Mike Nearman, who opened locked doors to let antigovernment protesters into the statehouse, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of the reason we are here today,” Democratic state representative Paul 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.”

Nearman was seen on security cameras opening locked doors to allow right wing protesters into the capitol.  Some of the protesters were armed, and their intent was to disrupt the legislative session considering coronavirus virus public health restrictions.  A video of Nearman explaining to a townhall meeting how to breach the building went viral earlier this week.

The panel voted to recommend the state legislature expel Nearman, who may face criminal charges.  Nearman would be the first state legislator expelled in Oregon in the last 150 years.

For his part, Nearman is unrepentant.  He did not take questions from the panel, but said in a prepared statement, “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.”

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