Following the release of security footage following an open records request by The Oregonian, a GOP lawmaker is facing charges.
"An Oregon lawmaker who let violent far-right demonstrators into the state Capitol during a Dec. 21 special session was criminally charged on Friday with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass," the newspaper reported. "Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, was caught on security videos opening a door and allowing demonstrators to enter the building. He had been under investigation since at least January for enabling the breach."
Nearman has a court appearance scheduled for May 11.
"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, according to court filings. The second charge is for allegedly abetting another person to enter and remain in the Capitol," The Oregonian reported.
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) reported on the scene that occurred in December.
"As lawmakers met in a special legislative session to take up COVID-19 relief that day, surveillance footage showed Nearman exiting the locked Capitol building into a throng of protesters who were trying to get inside the statehouse. In doing so, he appeared to purposefully grant entrance to far right groups demanding an end to ongoing restrictions related to COVID-19," OPB reported. "Shortly after that breach, demonstrators scuffled with state troopers and Salem police. One man is accused of spraying officers with bear mace, allowing the crowd to make their way further into the building. Several people were arrested before the Capitol was cleared, and members of the crowd went on to shatter glass doors and assault journalists outside the building. Nearman, meanwhile, promptly walked around the building and entered on the opposite side."
"At least three people who participated in the Salem protest went on to participate in the attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.," OPB noted.
Rep. Mike Nearman helps right-wing demonstrators breach Oregon Capitol www.youtube.com