Washington state Republican Matt Shea discussed and planned surveillance operations and violent attacks on “communist” leftists in his community, chat messages obtained by The Guardian show.
Shea, who represents Spokane Valley in the Washington state house, discussed these operations with three other men, two of them well-known far-right figures: Jack Robertson, and Anthony Bosworth.
Robertson hosts a far-right radio show Radio Free Redoubt, and Bosworth is another local right-wing figure known for having public altercations with his daughter and bringing guns to a courthouse. The third individual’s identity has been withheld by The Guardian due to concerns about their personal safety.
The discussions took place in late 2017, during what the right-wing described an “Antifa revolt.” The three men discussed various operations meant to target local leftists, who they described as “communist” and “Antifa.” Shea, Bosworth, and Robertson planned surveillance operations, psychological operations, and violent attacks.
“When we locate antifa members we can confront their parents their workplaces their landlords. We can hit them in there [sic] safe spaces,” one of Bosworth’s messages reads.
The three men discussed operations meant to intimidate and harm members of their community they perceive as political enemies. When a female resident’s name came up during the conversation, Jack Robertson proposed an extremely violent attack on her.
“Fist full of hair, and face slam, to a Jersey barrier. Treat em like communist revolutionaries. Then shave her bald with a K-Bar USMC field knife,” he wrote.
Surveillance and intimidation operations were also discussed, with the men wanting to target local leftists and their families in “homes, cars, workplaces.” One of the messages obtained by TheGuardian, sent by Robertson, even suggests that the local leftists’ children be targeted in their “daycare locations.”
Scoop from me: leaked chats show WA Republican legislator Matt Shea and associates discussing surveillance, “psyops” and violence directed at political opponents https://t.co/JBkbh2va53— Jason Wilson (@jason_a_w) April 20, 2019
According to the publication, Republican Matt Shea signaled a willingness to participate in the activities. He even volunteered to help find information about local activists and a college professor. Shea suggested that the group first researches and then targets local organizers.
Throughout their conversations, the three men discussed what they claim is a civil war waiting to happen.
For Republican Matt Shea, promoting such views is nothing new. The six-term legislator and military veteran is known for authoring a document predicting a civil war between those who practice “abortion” and “same-sex marriage,” and others. He has long promoted similar theories, once suggesting that leftists and Muslims are conspiring to create “counter-states” in America.
Spokane county’s Republican sheriff Ozzie Knezovich — who has previously criticized Shea’s far-right ties — described the men the representative associates with as dangerous.
Radio host Jack Robertson confirmed the existence of the chats on Thursday night during his podcast, criticizing the Guardian and reading biblical accounts of war.
“If it comes time for war and it’s forced upon you, do you not want a leader who is going to surround himself with warriors? I do,” he said.