Mike Nearman’s Former Employer to Host Trump’s Spokesperson at the Time of the U.S. Capitol Insurrection

The “Freedom” Foundation, a billionaire-funded extremist organization that has been trying and failing to destroy unions and implement a far-right agenda along the West Coast, is flying in former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany as keynote speaker for a high-dollar fundraising banquet in Oregon. McEnany was press secretary during the bloody January 6 insurrection in Washington D.C. where far-right activists and pseudo-militia members violently tried to impede a peaceful transfer of power between administrations. 

The “Freedom” Foundation was also the employer of ex-Rep. Mike Nearman, who was expelled from the Oregon Legislature for opening the locked Oregon Capitol to violent, far-right activists. 

Given the “Freedom” Foundation’s extremist track record, it raises alarming questions about what the theme of this fundraiser will be.

McEnany used her pulpit to cast doubt on the 2020 presidential election, trafficking in the debunked “voter fraud” conspiracy theory during multiple interviews with Sean Hannity, while she was still employed by the White House. Even after the Electoral College confirmed President Biden’s victory, McEnany dismissed the Electoral College as just “one step in the constitutional process,” while insinuating that Trump could be preparing for a “continuation of power.” The shameful culmination of McEnany’s blind loyalty to Trump came in her flat denial that Trump held any responsibility for the deadly insurrection in Washington D.C.

Disgraced former State Rep. Mike Nearman was a Senior Fellow at the “Freedom” Foundation when he was caught on surveillance video opening a locked Oregon Capitol door to men outside, who rushed inside and immediately began attacking police. Brandishing firearms and Trump flags, the invaders shot bear spray at Capitol police officers who were rushing to protect the legislators inside. It was a dark foreshadowing of the violent insurrection that would take place in D.C. just weeks later.

In June of 2021, another video of Nearman was released, this time showing that he discussed his plan to open the door to the Oregon Capitol while at the Salem, Oregon office of the “Freedom” Foundation. He called the scheme “Operation Hall Pass.” The video appeared to show him telling far-right activists to use his cell number and text him when they were outside the Capitol so he could let them in. 

In the weeks that followed the release of the damning video, Nearman was expelled from Oregon’s Legislature and the “Freedom” Foundation tried to distance themselves from Nearman and his actions. He later pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor and has been banned from the Oregon Capitol for 18 months. It is not known if Nearman will be speaking at the “Freedom” Foundation banquet.

This group’s office was used to plan a breach of Oregon’s Capitol, and now they are bringing in the person who spoke for Trump during the assault on our nation’s Capitol. Even more suspiciously, with less than a week to go, the “Freedom” Foundation has yet to publish the actual location for their fundraiser. The air of secrecy around the event is compounding concerns about the motives of this far-right group.