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Oregon state lawmaker accused of letting protesters into Capitol building absent from arraignment

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The Oregon State Digest
The Oregon State Digest
 2021-05-11

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(SALEM, Ore.) On Tuesday, the Oregon state lawmaker that was seen on surveillance video opening a door of the state’s Capitol to protesters last year is facing his arraignment, KOIN reports.

On December 21, 2020, State Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence) was caught on camera opening a door of the Oregon Capitol to right-wing protesters. According to court records filed by the Marion County district attorney’s office, he’s been charged with two misdemeanors: first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass.

Video from the December 21 protest, nearly two weeks before the U.S. Capitol insurrection, shows Nearman leaving the building during an emergency legislative session to address pandemic-related challenges to the state. As he left the building, protesters were able to come inside.

Protesters clashed with Oregon State Police Troopers once inside. Four people were arrested during the incident.

House Speaker Tina Kotek stripped Nearman of his committee assignments and asked him to resign following the incident.

On a conservative radio talk show last week, Nearman said he currently has a bad case of COVID-19 and is recovering. He did not appear in court for his arraignment and was represented by his attorney.

A group formed outside the Marion County Circuit Court in support of Nearman, KATU reported.

On Tuesday, Nearman’s attorney asked the judge to postpone the arraignment. It's now scheduled to happen in June.

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