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Washington State Rep. Discussed Violence and Surveillance of Opponents

HeadlineApr 22, 2019

In Washington state, an investigation by The Guardian reveals a prominent Republican lawmaker held private discussions with far-right figures about spying on political opponents—and even targeting them with violence. Records from the private chat room show state Representative Matt Shea discussed disrupting a planned demonstration by anti-fascist protesters in Spokane with Jack Robertson, host of the far-right show “Radio Free Redoubt,” and with Anthony Bosworth, a veteran of the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by an anti-government militia. The chat logs show Shea agreed to carry out background checks on the protesters and did not object when Robertson proposed attacking a woman activist with the threat: “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.” After The Guardian published its exposé, Washington’s lieutenant governor called on Republicans to eject Rep. Shea from their caucus.

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