State leaders now reviewing investigation into whether Matt Shea promoted political violence

State leaders now reviewing investigation into whether Matt Shea promoted political violence
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Rep. Matt Shea (R) speaks at a Liberty or Death rally for gun rights at Franklin Park in August 2018.

On Monday, a committee of Washington state leaders will review an independent investigation into whether Spokane Valley state Representative Matt Shea (R) condoned political violence.

A past investigative report by The Guardian accused the Republican legislator of secretly organizing surveillance and discussing violence against liberal people and groups.

Leaked chats obtained by The Guardian revealed Shea was involved in private talks with some rightwing figures about carrying out surveillance and violent attacks.

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In a Facebook post shared shortly after the article was posted, Shea called the article a “hit piece” and implied the author, Jason Wilson, is out to get him.

It wasn’t long after the report was published that state democratic leaders called for Shea to step down. It was around that same time that an independent investigation was ordered to determine whether Shea promoted political violence.

That investigation was delivered to a five-member committee Monday, according to a legislative staff member who works in House Chief Clerk Bernard Dean’s office. That panel is composed of J.T. Wilcox (R), Joel Kretz (R), John Lovick (D), Pat Sullivan (D) and Eric Pettigrew (D).

Officials have not yet said when the full report will be released to the public.

Rep. Shea has not responded to numerous requests for comment on the investigation. He is a six-term Spokane Valley legislator and military veteran.

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