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Previous story Oregon Republicans call on GOP state lawmaker to resign after video shows him appearing to tell protesters how to enter closed state Capitol


Story by Chris Boyette and Devan Cole, CNN
Published on Thursday June 10, 2021 - 12:01 PM
 
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Washington (CNN) - Republican members of Oregon's House of Representatives have called on an embattled member of their caucus to resign after newly surfaced video showed him appearing to give protesters insights into how to access the state Capitol, which led to a scuffle between protesters and police last year.

In a letter sent by every Republican in the chamber to GOP state Rep. Mike Nearman on Monday, the lawmakers say they "strongly recommend" he resign from his position in the legislature.

"Given the newest evidence that has come to light regarding the events of December 21, 2020, it is our belief as friends and colleagues that it is in the best interests of your caucus, your family, yourself, and the state of Oregon for you to step down from office," the letter states.

State House Republican Leader Christine Drazan said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday that "we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard in elected life and (Nearman's) actions do not meet that standard."

Neither Nearman nor his attorney responded to requests from CNN for comment on the letter...


Background

Republican Rep. Mike Nearman is shown in the 78-minute video—which was reportedly streamed in December—giving an unidentified audience tips on setting up "Operation Hall Pass," according to CNN.

In the video, which makes it unclear if he knew he was being recorded, Nearman tells his audience that there are ways to get access to the building outside of the COVID restrictions at the time. He also gives them his phone number so they could presumably contact him so that he could let them into the building, CNN confirmed.

"We are talking about setting up Operation Hall Pass, which I don't know anything about; and if you accuse me of knowing something about it, I'll deny it," he says. "But there would be some person's cell phone which might be … but that is just random numbers that I spewed out; that's not anybody's actual cell phone. And if you say, "I'm at the west entrance' during the session and text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you're standing there. But I don't know anything about that, I don't have anything to do with that, and if I did I wouldn't say that I did."

At one point, Nearman asks if it would be better to show up to the Capitol during the week or on the weekends "because I notice a lot of rallies and things like that happen on the weekends when no one is working."

After the December incident, Nearman was charged with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass, court records show.