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A protest by supporters of formr President Trump against President Biden's election win at the Oregon State Capital in Salem. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

An Oregon Republican state lawmaker faces charges after allegedly allowing dozens of far-right protesters to breach the State Capitol in Salem last December, court records show.

Driving the news: Rep. Mike Nearman faces charges of official misconduct in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree, both misdemeanors, following an investigation by state police that began after the Dec. 21 breach.

  • Prosecutors allege that "being a public servant," the 57-year-old "did unlawfully and knowingly perform an act which constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another" while the legislature was in session.

Zoom in: Video footage appears to show Nearman opening two doors, enabling entrance to the Capitol for the rioters — many not wearing masks and waving flags supporting former President Trump,.

  • "More than 30 people made it into the vestibule and about 150 protesters were gathered right outside the door," the New York Times reports.
  • Law enforcement arrested at least five people following the incident, AP notes.

Of note: Democratic lawmakers filed a formal complaint in January, accusing Nearman of endangering them and others present, knowing that "only authorized personnel are allowed in the building due to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

  • Several Democrats have called for Nearman to resign following Friday's announcement of charges.
  • State Rep. Rachel Prusak (D) said in a Twitter post Saturday that Nearman had "acted as part of a coordinated effort to allow enemies of democracy into the building; literally opening the door to sedition."

The other side: Nearman has yet to respond to requests for comment following the charges, but he said last January that he does not "condone violence, nor do I participate in it," per the Salem Statesman Journal.

  • "I hope for due process, and not the mob justice to which Speaker Kotek is subjecting me," he added.

What's next: Nearman has been ordered to appear in the Marion County Court on May 11.

Go deeper

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson e in the t figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

GOP to use Supreme Court fight to target vulnerable Dems

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Conservatives know they're unlikely to stop President Biden from filling a Supreme Court vacancy, but they plan to target Senate Democrats who face competitive re-election fights and are all but certain to vote for the successor to Justice Stephen Breyer.

Between the lines: The general strategy will be to tie those Democrats to positions seen as political liabilities in states like Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire, where incumbents are seeking re-election this year, an operative briefed on early strategy talks told Axios.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.