The Week (US)

Salem, Ore.

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Backdoor pass:

All Republican members of the Oregon House of Representa­tives called on a colleague, Rep. Mike Nearman, to resign this week over his efforts to help rioters breach the Oregon Capitol. Weeks before the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrecti­on, Nearman, a fierce opponent of coronaviru­s safety restrictio­ns, told right-wing supporters that the statehouse was closed to the public but mentioned “Operation Hall Pass” (“which I don’t know anything about”) and gave a phone number (“just random numbers that I spewed out”), saying a door might open to the Capitol if people texted that number. Nearman, 57, now faces charges for holding a door open on Dec. 21 to allow dozens of unmasked rioters, some carrying rifles, to breach the statehouse. They attacked state troopers with pepper spray, smashed windows, and assaulted journalist­s. Nearman says he’s a victim of “mob justice” and believes the statehouse is constituti­onally required to remain open.

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