The Oregon House of Representatives get set to open a session on the evening of Thursday, June 10, 2021, to consider expelling member Rep. Mike Nearman for letting violent protesters into the Oregon Capitol in December. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

Lawmakers in Oregon on Thursday night expelled a Republican legislator who let violent, far-right protesters into the Statehouse.

Rep. Mike Nearman was the first member of the House to be expelled in its 160-year history. The House voted 59-1 to remove him from the Legislature for disorderly behavior.

At an earlier hearing Rep. Paul Holvey said Nearman let in protesters who had planned to occupy the Capitol. Some were armed.

Nearman was seen on security video opening a door to protesters on Dec. 21 as lawmakers met in emergency session to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters barged into the building, which was closed to the public because of coronavirus safety protocols, got into shoving matches with police and sprayed officers with bear spray.

“It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of the reason we are here today,” Holvey said. “Rep. Nearman enabled armed, violent protesters to enter the Capitol, breaching the security of the Capitol, which was officially closed to the public, and also endangered the authorized staff and legislators inside the building.”

 

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