A Republican state legislator in Oregon is facing charges after being accused of letting protesters into the state capitol during a special session in December of last year, as reported by the New York Post.
State Representative Mike Nearman (R-Ore.) was formally charged on Friday with one count of “first-degree official misconduct” and “second-degree criminal trespass” in relation to the incident, which took place on December 21st. The state legislature was holding a special session on that date to debate the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as wildlife recovery funding.
The investigation into Nearman first started in January, and security camera footage allegedly shows him letting the protesters, who were gathered outside, into the building by opening a door for them. The footage itself shows Nearman leaving the building through a door where anti-lockdown protesters had gathered just outside. Nearman is then seen shoving his way around the protesters without closing the door behind him first.
Protesters then entered the capitol through the door that Nearman left open and clashed with police, who eventually managed to push the protesters back out the door and close it. Several protesters were later arrested.
Even before any charges were filed against Nearman, State House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Ore.) had Nearman stripped of all his committee assignments on January 11th, declaring that Nearman’s actions “put every person in the capitol in serious danger.”