It’s looking to be a near-certainty that Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman will be expelled from the state’s House of Representatives now that a new video has surfaced of Nearman helping plan an invasion of the state Capitol by pandemic anti-lockdown protesters and coaching them on where to be so that he could open a door allowing them into the closed building. The protesters intended to confront lawmakers meeting in an emergency session inside; they were instead forced out of the building after a brief battle with law enforcement that resulted in injuries.
Nearman was already facing criminal charges for his involvement. On Monday, all 22 Republican members of the state House asked Nearman to resign, and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced a resolution setting up an eventual expulsion vote. The Associated Press reports that Nearman himself believes he will be expelled, but so far has not indicated he will abide by the unanimous Republican request for his resignation. He evidently intends to stick with a policy of always doing the worst possible thing to see how it “works out,” which is admittedly on-brand in a party that has made it into something of a motto.
There’s really not too much to say about this one. While most Republicans in the nation have been willing to forgive even bonafide insurrection so long as they can vaguely pretend the violent crowd only intended to harm other lawmakers, not them, Nearman’s own colleagues have now had two separate videos showing him to have plotted out acts that stood a good chance of putting them in immediate danger, had his plans been fulfilled. This is something that Donald Trump can get away with three times a day without facing any consequences more dire than “all these Republicans licking my shoes are making it hard for me to walk.” This guy? Not so much.
For the moment, a bipartisan six-person “Special Committee” will consider the resolution to expel Nearman; if they agree, Nearman can only be expelled by a two-thirds vote of the House. The numbers work out such that only three Republican votes are needed to meet that two-thirds majority, so Nearman seems correct to assume the votes will be there.
Why is he not resigning already? A good question, but not one we can answer.