Video released on Friday shows an Oregon state lawmaker allowed right-wing protesters to enter the Capitol building during a demonstration last month. The video backs up the declaration made on Thursday when House Speaker Tina Kotek revealed state Rep. Mike Nearman “did open a door to let demonstrators into the building,” adding that it “was a serious, serious breach of public trust.”
Nearman is accused of letting in the protesters, some of whom were armed, while the building was closed to the public during a special session to address the ongoing COVID19 pandemic on December 21. Nearman is under investigation by Oregon State Police.
The video shows Nearman walk out of the building, and protesters quickly enter before the doors shut behind him, negating Nearman’s original argument that he was “just leaving” and they took advantage of his exit.
Officers quickly respond to the open doors and try to push out the demonstrators. The standoff at the door between protesters and officers lasted for several minutes. Eventually, police are pepper-sprayed and retreat into the building, and protesters flood into the building through the doors Nearman had opened. Four protesters were arrested later that day.
A couple weeks ago, video surfaced of Oregon State @RepNearman letting MAGA protesters into the OR State Capitol.
People said he was “just leaving” the building.
Nearman MUST GO.pic.twitter.com/zv5GnVuK34
— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 (@NickKnudsenUS) January 19, 2021
Among those who went inside the Oregon Capitol was Joey Gibson, the leader of the far-right group Patriot Prayer. In the surveillance video, Gibson appears in the doorway of the Capitol holding a bullhorn. He’s later seen with the same bullhorn as protesters supporting President Donald Trump tried to force open inner doors to the Capitol as Oregon State Police tried to repel him. Gibson is already accused of riot for a brawl at a bar in Northeast Portland and has been part of many of the recent right- and left-wing clashes in Portland.
Nearman has been asked to resign his seat in light of the new video showing his part in the incident, especially after it was revealed that Republican members of Congress were involved in the insurrection on January 6th at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.