An independent report alleges that WA State Rep Matt Shea took part in three armed political conflicts against the United States since 2014. What a patriot!
Matt Shea, a Republican lawmaker serving his sixth term in the Washington State legislature, stands credibly accused of domestic terrorism.
An investigative report commissioned by the Washington House of Representatives alleges that Shea participated in three politically motivated armed conflicts against the government of the United States between 2014 and 2016.
In 2014, Matt Shea reportedly put out a call to action for militia groups to arm themselves and gather in Bunkersville, Nevada to stand with the Bundy family against enforcement of a federal court order directing rancher Cliven Bundy to pay overdue fees to the Bureau of Land Management for grazing his cattle on public land. Shea was later spotted meeting with militia leaders, discussing strategy and equipment for armed resistance to the U.S. government.
In 2015, Matt Shea allegedly traveled to Idaho to engage in armed resistance against the Veteran’s Administration. The VA was lawfully attempting to seize firearms from a veteran who had been red-flagged by a healthcare professional as ineligible to to buy them. Shea also encouraged armed patriot militias to block government access to the veteran’s home.
In 2016, Matt Shea was found to have assisted Ammon Bundy and his fellows in planning and preparation for the armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Once again, Shea summoned patriot militia members to rally around the unlawful occupiers of federal land. After the standoff ended, he posted to his Facebook page that “after much prayer, I’m afraid violence might be necessary to take our country back.”
Additionally, Shea is implicated in several other acts of defiance against the government, and some of it is straight up frightening in its implications.
Representative Shea “engaged in intimidation tactics” in 2012 against a political opponent by posting a photo of himself standing in front of the opponent’s home, refusing to take the picture down at the request of his opponent, law enforcement, and members of his own party.
Not only has he apparently condoned intimidation and violence against government officials, activists, Muslims, and others opposed to his political ideology, he went so far as to write documents detailing his vision for the future of the United States and promoting the violent acts it would take to get us there. One, leaked in 2018 and titled “The Biblical Basis for War,” outlines battle plans for subduing those who support same sex marriage and abortion rights. “If they do not yield,” he wrote, “kill all males.” (Apparently he believes that females, however opposed they may be to a theocratic agenda, are still useful for some purpose.) The sequel, “Restoration,” provides direction for rebuilding society, and calls for banning “abortions, unions, civil forfeiture, monopolies, centralized welfare, property taxes and teachers under 30” while editing the Constitution to add more Jesus and provide special protection for Christians.
Surprisingly, even Republican colleagues are stepping up to condemn Matt Shea. Washington State House Minority Leader Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R) called for Shea’s resignation. “House Republicans need to stand up for the fact that this is not the right thing for a person who is a member of our caucus to be engaged in,” said Wilcox. Although Shea is no longer allowed to caucus with his fellow Republicans, use party resources, and will have to move his office, he refuses to resign, comparing the damning report to the investigation that led to the impeachment of President Trump. (There certainly is a similarity, and not only because both men call their investigations a “sham” or “hoax.”)
Many people don’t like the way the country – or the world – are going, and for good reason. The effects of resource depletion, ecosystem destruction, climate chaos, social change, and economic disruption hit people differently based upon their ideology. People like Matt Shea may turn to the Oath Keepers, III%ers, and other Dominionist and militia groups to secure their place in the world, however ironic it may be to call oneself a “patriot” while engaging in open, armed resistance against the United States. Others who perceive the current system being similarly illegitimate (in the opposite direction) likely feel the need to defend themselves against people like Shea, resurgent white nationalism, and a corrupt Administration. How long will it be before one or more of these groups reaches the point of no return, where they care less about personal safety and cultural norms than they do about organized, widespread, and violent resistance against the status quo? And what will happen when they do?
For his part, Matt Shea looks prepared to fight.