Oregon lawmaker faces expulsion in assault on state Capitol

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FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2020, file photo, pro-Trump and anti-mask demonstrators hold a rally outside the Oregon State Capitol as legislators meet for an emergency session in Salem, Ore. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek wants to expel a lawmaker who allowed violent protesters into the Oregon State Capitol that day. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

SALEM, Ore. – A Republican state lawmaker faces being expelled from office after a video emerged apparently showing him choreographing how he would let far-right protesters into the closed Oregon Capitol days before he did so in December.

The crowd entered the building during an emergency legislative session, and some sprayed chemical irritants at police.

On Monday, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced a resolution that would have the Democrat-controlled House expel Rep. Mike Nearman if two-thirds of its members vote in favor. She appointed a committee to consider the matter.

GOP members of the House also wrote a letter to Nearman on Monday, saying he should step down.

“Today, we strongly recommend that you resign from the Oregon State House of Representatives,” all 22 House Republicans said in the joint letter. “Given the newest evidence that has come to light ... 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 lawmakers were referring to video that emerged late Friday in local news reports that appeared to show Nearman coaching constituents on how to text him so they could get into the Capitol.

The committee appointed by Kotek, a Democrat, will convene later this week. It is composed of three Democrats and three Republicans.

With Republicans calling for Nearman to step down, his fate appeared sealed. If he does not resign, there was little doubt that an overwhelming number of House members would vote to cast him out.