An Oregon Republican lawmaker is being urged by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to resign over his role in an assault on the state capitol last year.
Rep. Mike Nearman is under pressure from both parties to step down for his role in letting violent demonstrators into the Capitol on Dec. 21.
Democrats, including House Speaker Tina Kotek, issued calls months ago for Nearman to resign. Until now, Nearman’s fellow Republicans in the House had been largely silent.
That changed Monday when Republicans hand-delivered a letter to Nearman that was signed by all 22 of the other members of the House Republican caucus, including the top House Republican, Rep. Christine Drazan.
“Today, we strongly recommend that you resign from the Oregon House of Representatives,” reads the letter, which The Oregonian obtained.
“Given the newest evidence that has come to light regarding the events of December 21, 2020, it is our beliefs as friends and colleagues that it is in the best interest of your caucus, your family, yourself, and the state of Oregon for you to step down from your office,” the letter concluded.
The “newest evidence” the letter refers to is the existence of a video reported by several news organizations Friday that shows Nearman coaching constituents days before the incursion into the closed Capitol that they should text him and let him know what entrance they were at so that he could let them in.
On Monday morning, Kotek announced a new “Special Committee on December 21, 2020” that would meet to consider expelling Nearman from the Legislature. That would require a two-thirds vote by the full House.
Separately, Nearman is facing criminal misconduct charges for his role in letting the protestors into the building, some of whom allegedly sprayed six troopers with a substance that was reportedly pepper spray.
In an interview Monday with conservative radio host Lars Larson, Nearman said he expects House Republicans will vote with Democrats to expel him later this week.
Nearman said that although he is “willing to have some consequences for what I did,” he blames state troopers and Salem police for not keeping demonstrators out after he opened the door for them.