Jun 11, 2021
Oregon Lawmakers Unanimously Oust Colleague After He Helped Rioters Breach The State Capitol
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Lawmakers in Oregon late Thursday unanimously voted to oust their Republican colleague who helped far-right rioters get into the State Capitol last year.
State Representative Mike Nearman was the only lawmaker to vote against his own removal, a press release from Oregon Democrats said, days after a surfaced video reported by The Oregonian last Friday showed him coaching people on how to successfully breach the building.Original security footage from Dec. 21 showed him exiting the Capitol through a door where protesters were gathered, allowing them to get inside before being confronted by police.
“His actions were blatant and deliberate, and he has shown no remorse for jeopardizing the safety of every person in the Capitol that day,” Democratic Speaker Tina Kotek said in a statement after the vote. (RELATED: Oregon GOP Refers To Capitol Riot As ‘False Flag’)
Oregon State Troopers stand outside the State Capitol in March. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
Unlike most Republicans in Washington, D.C., who have urged moving on from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and recently killed a bipartisan 9/11-style investigation into it, Republicans in Oregon collectively called for Nearman’s ouster in a letter before the vote.
“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, reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, reads.
In the recently discovered video, Nearman appears to repeat his own cellphone number and suggest that those trying to enter could text him.
“That is just random numbers that I spewed out. That’s not anybody’s actual cellphone,” Nearman can be heard saying in the footage. “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.”
Nearman is the first member of the Oregon legislature to be removed from office, according to the Oregon Democratic caucus.
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DOJ national security chief John Demers leaving post amid probe of records seizures
John Demers, the head of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.Source: CNBC
John Demers is leaving his post as head of the Justice Department's national security division within two weeks, CNBC has learned.
Demers' imminent departure comes as the DOJ is under fire for searching electronic records of reporters at major national news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, and those of some Democratic lawmakers as part of investigations into the leaks of classified information. The lawmakers included Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Demers oversaw those investigations, which occurred during the administration of President Donald Trump.
The DOJ said Saturday it will not longer secretly seize journalists' records as part of leak probes.
A department spokesman said Demers revealed his plans to leave his job months ago, before the scandal erupted over the probes.CNBC Politics
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The spokesman said Demers originally expected to leave his job on Jan. 20, when President Joe Biden was sworn into office.
But Demers agreed to remain in his post for several months at the repeated requests of the department's current leadership. Demers for months has told superiors he would leave when his children's summer break began.
When asked what Demers planned to do next, the spokesman said he had nothing to announce yet.
The DOJ has been criticized not only for targeting journalists and lawmakers with subpoenas but also for obtaining gag orders that prevented media outlets and data companies from publicly disclosing those demands for information.
The DOJ inspector general's office, an internal watchdog, is investigating the targeting of journalists and Democratic lawmakers and their staffs by the subpoenas. Schiff, D-California, is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and has been one of Trump's staunchest critics. Another member of that panel, California Democrat Eric Swalwell, also had his metadata turned over by Apple under a DOJ subpoena in 2018, at the same time the committee was investigating Trump's ties to Russia.
Biden has said it is "simply, simply wrong" to seize records from reporters.
In a statement Monday about the investigations, Attorney General Merrick Garland said: "As I stated during my confirmation hearing, political or other improper considerations must play no role in any investigative or prosecutorial decisions."
"These principles that have long been held as sacrosanct by the DOJ career workforce will be vigorously guarded on my watch, and any failure to live up to them will be met with strict accountability."
"There are important questions that must be resolved in connection with an effort by the department to obtain records related to Members of Congress and Congressional staff," Garland said.
"I have accordingly directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General and have full confidence that he will conduct a thorough and independent investigation. If at any time as the investigation proceeds action related to the matter in question is warranted, I will not hesitate to move swiftly."
Garland also said he has instructed the deputy attorney general "to evaluate and strengthen the department's existing policies and procedures for obtaining records of the Legislative branch."
"Consistent with our commitment to the rule of law, we must ensure that full weight is accorded to separation-of-powers concerns moving forward," the attorney general said.