[WATCH] Video Shows Oregon GOP Rep Giving Protesters Tips On Breaking Into State Capitol
Days before he allowed right-wing demonstrators into the locked state Capitol, Oregon Rep. Mike Nearman told a gathering of citizens he would let them into the building if they texted him, according to a newly discovered video. Posted on YouTube with a stamp saying it was streamed live on December 16th, Nearman, a Polk County Republican, can be seen and heard talking about something called “Operation Hall Pass.”
“Which I don’t know anything about, and if you accuse me of knowing anything about it, I will deny it,” Nearman says in the video. The group Nearman was addressing in the video was not immediately clear, nor was the exact time the recording was taken. It’s currently posted to a YouTube account called The Black Conservative Preacher.
Nearman continues, saying, “There might be some person’s number which might be [his cell phone number], but that is just random numbers… that’s not anybody’s actual cell phone. And if you say, ‘I’m at the West entrance’ during the session and text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you’re standing there.”
Those words exactly describe what Nearman did five days later, when he exited the Capitol via the entrance to a vestibule on the west side of the building, allowing right-wing demonstrators to enter. A standoff with police followed shortly thereafter.
Just a reminder that the Koch brothers also fund the Freedom Foundation & work closely with/employ Oregon Rep. Mike Nearman who assisted RW extremists in “operation hall pass” – their incursion on the Oregon Capitol building Dec. 21st. He purposely opened the door for them.
— Alissa Azar (@AlissaAzar) June 7, 2021
Nearman now faces two misdemeanor charges in connection to the incident and could face expulsion from the Legislature if he’s found to have breached workplace rules. Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson released a statement indicating her office is aware of the video.
“It’s been part of the investigative material we have reviewed,” Clarkson said.
In the video, Nearman answers questions from audience members about meeting with lawmakers at the Capitol. Someone brings up the COVID-19 restrictions that have closed the building to members of the public.
“Yes, the Capitol is closed,” Nearman responds. “And so you can’t come into the Capitol.” Several seconds later, Nearman says, “So, we’re talking about setting up ‘Operation Hall Pass.’” and then provides members of the audience with his cell phone number but then tells them he’ll deny ever having given it to them.
Unlike the Republicans in the House in Washington, DC, Mike Nearman is on his own in Oregon, with all of his colleagues asking for his resignation.
— Chris Lehman (@CapitolCurrents) June 7, 2021
Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek is also now considering expulsion for Nearman in light of his actions.
New: House Speaker Tina Kotek will appoint a special committee to consider whether to expel Rep. Mike Nearman for allowing far-right demonstrators into the state Capitol. #orleg #orpol https://t.co/mqAJiIRvKw
— Dirk VanderHart (@dirquez) June 7, 2021
Watch the video of Mike Nearman, below.