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House GOP to review Shea reports

UPDATED: Sat., April 27, 2019

OLYMPIA – Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, addresses a gun rights rally Saturday on the Capitol Campus. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)
OLYMPIA – Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, addresses a gun rights rally Saturday on the Capitol Campus. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA – The House Republican Caucus will conduct of formal review of Rep. Matt Shea’s participation in a online discussion in which other members described possible violence against political opponents.

The review won’t happen until after Sunday’s scheduled end of Legislative session, House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, of Yelm, said.

The comments by others in the online chat are serious, Wilcox said. Although Shea has said he joined the chat after those comments were made, portions of the log obtained by The Spokesman-Review contradict that.

The review will try to answer questions about the sequence of the comments, and different interpretations about the Russian name for the group, Wilcox said.

“I just want to be sure we’re working from the truth,” he said. The final days of the session are filled with votes on budgets and tax proposals, so the leadership team decided to wait until it ends to devote more time to the review, he added.

Shea was elected House Republican caucus chairman by his colleagues in early 2017, but lost that position in the organization vote in November 2018 after the online publication of a document “The Biblical Basis for War,” which condemned abortion and same-sex marriage and describes violence against those who flout biblical law. Shea has said it was merely a summary of sermons about biblical war in the Old Testament.

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