Newspaper: Chat logs contradict lawmaker’s claim on violence

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — An embattled Washington state lawmaker said he joined a group chat after others suggested acts of violence against opponents, but portions of a chat log obtained by a newspaper contradict that claim.

The Spokesman-Review reported Saturday that state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, was involved in the 2017 group chat on Signal when other participants suggested violence against left-wing protesters.

On Nov. 4, 2017, Shea sent a message to the group at 9:45 a.m. just three minutes before another participant suggested “hoisting communists up flag poles.”

Shea could not be reached for comment. But he told a right-wing radio host in Seattle Wednesday that he joined the conversation after the portions about violence occurred.

There was no indication that Shea proposed acts of violence himself. He did express a willingness to conduct background checks on political opponents.

Leaders of the state House of Representatives have said they will investigate Shea’s actions.

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