A video posted on YouTube came to light last week that showed Oregon Rep. Mike Nearman, a Polk County Republican, sharing his phone number and discussing how protesters might be allowed to enter the state Capitol building— in violation of COVID-19 and security protocols. That video has since been restricted on YouTube to paying subscribers of the channel where it is posted. Watch highlights below:
In the video, which was posted on YouTube with a stamp saying it had been streamed Dec. 16, Nearman appears to be previewing the events that would later unfold: “There might be some person’s number, which might be” — here, Nearman says his own phone number, which OPB is redacting — “but that is just random numbers, 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.”
At one point, Nearman references “Operation Hall Pass” — “which I don’t know anything about,” he says. He repeats his own phone number at least three times.
Five days later, on Monday, Dec. 21, Nearman was caught on security footage walking out a door of the Oregon Capitol into a crowd of far-right demonstrators. Those demonstrators then held the door ajar and immediately began signaling others to crowd inside. Two demonstrators were arrested by the time police in riot gear finally cleared people from the building.