Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, a Republican, allegedly “participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States,” according to an investigative report released on Thursday.
According to Rampart Group, its investigators found evidence that Rep. Shea , a leader in the Patriot Movement, “engaged in, planned and promoted three armed conflicts of political violence” in three states.
Rep. Shea’s acts of domestic terrorism
The three armed conflicts of political violence, in which he was involved, happened in 2014, 2015, and 2016, according to the independent investigative firm.
In April 2014, investigators found that Rep. Shea encouraged armed militia or Patriot Movement members to support rancher Cliven Bundy and his family’s resistance to a federal court order in Bunkerville, Nevada. His action resulted in the turnout of around 1500 militia members that stood against the U.S. government. He also created the Coalition of Western States (COWS) as leadership strategy for future Patriot Movement armed resistance against the federal government.
In August 2015, Rep. Shea took part in an armed conflict with the U.S. Government Veteran’s Administration (VA) in Priest River, Ohio. He urged Patriot Movement followers to go to Ohio and stand with him to prevent the VA’s lawful retrieval of guns from a military veteran who was determined by health professionals as not eligible to buy firearms.
Rep. Shea, as Chairman of COWS and the leader of Liberty for All (LFA) 111% – Washington and other militia members planned and prepared for the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon in 2016.
Additionally, the investigators found that the Washington state lawmaker intimidated a political opponent in 2012. He was also involved in and promoted militia training and readiness exercises in support of future armed conflicts against local, state and federal governments and law enforcement.
Washington House Republican leadership removes Rep. Shea from committees
In a statement, Washington State House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox said they suspended Rep. Shea from their caucus and removed him from his ranking position on the House Environment and Energy Committee. They will also remove him from House Committees.
Representative Shea was given an opportunity to communicate with investigators and chose not to. Allegations this serious, many supported by his own communications and associates, justify this immediate action,” said Rep. Wilcox.
He added, “The Chief Clerk of the Washington State House of Representatives has referred the full report to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI. If any action is pursued, like all Americans, Representative Shea deserves a fair process and the opportunity to address the allegations made against him directly.
Rep. She said he will not resign
Meanwhile, Rep. Shea called the investigation against him as a “sham” and stated that he “will not resign” from his position.
In a post on Facebook, he wrote, “Like we are seeing with our President this is a sham investigation meant to silence those of us who stand up against attempts to disarm and destroy our great country. I will not back down, I will not give in, I will not resign. Stand strong fellow Patriots. Thank you to everyone for the massive outpouring of support prayers! I will continue to defend the constitution against tyranny and fight to protect our God given unalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the ability to defend the same.”