SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Washington House of Representatives on Tuesday released a trove of documents supporting a recent report that branded an arch-conservative state lawmaker a “domestic terrorist” and got him kicked out of the Republican caucus.
The documents, which cover a period of Republican Rep. Matt Shea’s activities from 2012 to 2018, were released by the chief clerk of the state House in Olympia.
The documents included emails, news articles, press releases, law enforcement reports, audio recordings and other items involving Shea and his activities.
The various items released were the basis for a 108-page report for the Legislature by The Rampart Group that was released in December and was highly critical of Shea’s anti-government activities.
The report prompted House Republicans to kick Shea, who is from Spokane Valley, out of their caucus. Democrats and Republicans have called for Shea’s resignation, but he has refused. Republicans say it is up to voters to remove Shea from the Legislature.
Shea, who rarely speaks to the press, did not return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment. But he posted comments on his Facebook page Tuesday that criticized many of the documents as raising more questions.
“Many of the exhibits are merely biased left wing opinion pieces,” Shea wrote. “The more the facts come out on this, the more it is clear this was a political hit job/label-lynching paid for by us taxpayers.”
In the past, Shea on social media has branded the report a lie and said he will continue to represent the people of his district.
Jay Pounder of Spokane, a former Shea associate who now opposes the lawmaker’s views, said it was good to release the documents.
“Truth and sunlight are the best disinfectants,” Pounder said Tuesday. “Everything is out there now.”
The report commissioned by the state House was released in December and concluded that Shea helped plan, engaged in and promoted three armed conflicts against the U.S. government in Nevada, Idaho and Oregon in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In particular, Shea’s work to organize and urge supporters to attend the 2016 standoff with authorities at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon was branded domestic terrorism by the report by the Rampart Group, a Seattle-based private investigation agency.
Shea refused to be interviewed for the report.
“‘I have been falsely accused of being a “domestic terrorist” by a private investigator who never spoke to the principals involved in the incidents she described and relied instead on anonymous sources,” Shea wrote recently.
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