Washington – -(AmmoLand.com)- A pro-rights Republican Washington state representative was suspended from access to House staff and caucus meetings this week after a report — by a private firm called the Rampart Group — alleged he “participated in domestic terrorism against the United States,” according to the Seattle Times.
The report may be read here.
AmmoLand News reviewed the 108-page report, which had been “engaged” by the Washington State House of Representatives earlier this year. According to the report, “Rampart Group LLC investigators have obtained evidence that Representative Shea, as a leader of the Patriot Movement, planned, engaged in, and promoted a total of three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States Government in three states outside the State of Washington over a three-year period…”
The story is receiving international attention.
AmmoLand News reached out to Shea for comment but he did not respond. However, he did post a message on his Facebook page that is receiving lots of reaction.
“MY INITIAL RESPONSE:
“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.”
Shea, from far-eastern Washington’s Spokane Valley, has become known as a stalwart gun rights advocate during his time in the Washington Legislature. He has appeared several times at Second Amendment rallies held in Olympia on the capitol steps.
But allegations in the report are disturbing.
The report says Shea “dispatched local militia Liberty For /all III% – Washington leader Anthony Bosworth to Bunkerville, Nevada on April 9, 2014 to assess the need for an armed militia to stand against the US Government in support of rancher Cliven Bundy and his family in resistance to a federal court order.”
Further, the report states, “Shea prepared and posted a plea on a III% militia website on April 10, 2014 for Patriot Movement members nationwide to travel to Bunkerville…and stand with the Bundy family that resulted in the April 11, 2014 turnout of approximately 1500 armed militia members that stood against the US government.”
The report also says Shea called the visit to Bunkerville “a fact-finding mission.”
In August 2015, Shea “traveled to Priest River, Idaho and engaged in an armed conflict with the US Government Veteran’s Administration (VA) in resistance to the planned lawful removal of firearms from a military veteran whose name had been added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as a person determined by a healthcare professional as not eligible to purchase firearms.”
But there is more to this story, which can be found with some digging. Shea was not the only lawmaker at the protest, which was organized to protect U.S. Navy veteran John Arnold from being disarmed by an Obama-era policy aimed at veterans. According to the story, which was archived here, “the protest…attracted roughly 100 people. Among them were Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, who promised to stand guard against any federal attempts to remove Arnold’s guns, and Republican Washington state Rep. Matthew Shea of Spokane Valley, who described the event as a ‘defiance against tyranny.’”
According to KHQ News, Sheriff Wheeler “also stood up for Arnold’s rights. He told a VA rep that his office would stop any inspection and attempt at a weapons seizure.”
The protest was also attended by Idaho State Rep. Heather Scott. Ultimately, the VA backed down, and contrary to what the report described, there was no “armed conflict.”
The third “conflict” alleged by the Rampart Group said Shea, in a leadership role as chair of the Coalition of Western States (COWS) along with Liberty For All III% “engaged in conversations with Ammon Bundy and other militia members in the planning and preparation of the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon.” The report says Shea published a press release as “a call to action for Patriot Movement members and militias to rally in Harney County Oregon against the US Government in support of two lawfully arrested, convicted and sentenced residents of Harney County who committed crimes against the US Government.”
The report asserts that Shea, using the pseudonym “Verumbellator” in January 2016 “created a detailed military-styled operation plan…that included roles and responsibilities of COWS members and militia leadership in support of the armed occupation of the Malheur refuge.
There are several “findings” of the report, all essentially portraying to Shea as being engaged in “domestic terrorism.”
Elsewhere in the report, it is alleged that Shea, “from 2013 through 2019 condoned intimidation by supporters of his political opposition to include activists, government officials, Muslims, and others who speak or act in opposition to his personal beliefs and his political agenda.”
The report also asserts that Shea “engaged in counterintelligence gathering and acted in opposition to the lawful efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement.”
The report contains links to several stories about Shea’s activities as a conservative, including one in which Spokane City Council members called for Shea to resign from the legislature.
There is also considerable discussion about the Patriot Movement. The report ends with a “risk assessment” that begins with this:
“Although this investigation found no evidence that Representative Shea presents an imminent direct threat to any individual or group, considerable evidence was discovered indicating Representative Shea has since 2014, presented a significant threat of political violence against employees of the Federal Government and state and local law enforcement officers, carried out their intermediaries sympathetic to the Patriot Movement.”
The report also asserts that Shea’s activities “appear to meet the definition of political violence and when viewed holistically, these activities appear to have been successful…”
A report in the Seattle P-I.com said Shea would not resign and he claimed he was a victim of a “sham investigation.”
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