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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  WA Government

Shea calls investigation Marxist, Globalist tactic

OLYMPIA – Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, speaks during a debate on a legislative bill in April during the closing days of the 2019 session. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)
OLYMPIA – Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, speaks during a debate on a legislative bill in April during the closing days of the 2019 session. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)

The legislative investigation against him is political warfare being conducted by “Globalists, Marxists and Islamists” and is similar to efforts to impeach the president, Rep. Matt Shea said recently in a long internet interview with an InfoWars host.

Shea, the subject of a recently completed but as-yet-unreleased legislative report by an outside investigative agency, contended he is being attacked for his support of freedom and private property rights and opposing “the surveillance state.” He said he hadn’t read the report yet and that his attorney’s request for all materials gathered by the investigators was denied.

“This is political warfare according to a Maoist insurgency model,” Shea told David Knight, who hosts a show on the website that features far-right news and opinion.

A top House Democrat on the bipartisan committee that ordered the report said he wouldn’t comment on Shea’s characterization of the investigation, but insisted the six-term Valley Republican was not shut out of the process.

“He was offered the opportunity to participate and he chose not to,” House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, of Covington, said.

Earlier this year, the state House of Representatives voted for an independent investigation of Shea after news accounts that he participated in online conversations with others who advocated physical violence against radical opponents. Shea didn’t advocate violence but did offer to do research on opponents.

The House Executive Committee, a five-member panel that oversees the chamber’s administration, approved a contract of as much as $120,000 with Rampart Group, LLC, a private investigation firm headed by a former FBI special agent and a former law enforcement investigator. Rampart submitted its final report to House Clerk Bernard Dean last week, and members of the committee were briefed about its contents. Sullivan said caucus leaders will be briefed sometime next week in person before a version of the report is released to the public.

Names and identifying information of some witnesses may be removed from the public report to protect them from harassment, House leaders said. No decision has been made on what steps will follow the release of the report.

Shea does not usually talk to The Spokesman-Review. Through a member of the House Republican communications staff, he turned down a request for an interview last week after the report was finished because he hadn’t seen it; he didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

In his Thursday interview with Knight, Shea said he still hadn’t seen the report.

“They won’t even give me a copy of the report to look at, even though I’m the object of that report,” he said. “My attorney contacted them, and to this day – to this day – I have not been provided a meaningful opportunity to respond.”

Despite not having seen the report, he said his reaction is similar to Trump’s on impeachment: “You guys want to try to do this, let’s go to a trial. So I can bring my own witnesses. So I can bring my own facts. So I can bring my own own evidence and completely rebut this Marxist smear campaign.”

Sullivan said investigators made “a number of attempts” to talk with Shea, but the legislator opted not to. Those offers are in keeping with the procedure used in a 2018 investigation of former Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, for sexual harassment and violating the ethics policy. Sawyer did meet with investigators, Sullivan added.

For the Shea case, majority Democrats tried to be fair, Sullivan said.

“We worked with Republican leadership to get an investigator they were comfortable with, and that was independent,” he said.

Copies of a report usually aren’t released until after an investigation is complete and whatever sanctions might be imposed have been discussed, Sullivan said.

Although he hasn’t seen the report, Shea contended the investigation is tied to something far-reaching.

“They’re doing the same thing to the president that they’re trying to do to me here at the local level in Washington state, because this is about the people who believe in freedom and liberty, who are standing in the way of these Marxist and Globalist plans to destroy this country.”

He said he “understands” part of the report will deal with work he’s done connected to the standoff at the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy and the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by Ammon Bundy, Cliven’s son, and others.

He called it “revenge for what happened down there” and a “witch hunt.”

The hourlong interview was broken up occasionally by Knight’s efforts to sell nutritional supplements being offered at 50% off with free shipping and “triple patriot points” or provide a website address to contribute to Shea’s campaign fund.

Shea said he has never been questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his writings, but has been informed of possible death threats from anti-fascist groups and others such as the John Brown Gun Club, the Socialist Rifle Association and Redneck Revolt.

At one point, Knight suggested Shea should sue Rolling Stone and the UK Guardian, which have written stories about him, just as U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is suing CNN.

“We are in contact with attorneys to do exactly that,” Shea said. “We need to fight back in every possible place we can.”

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