Messages from network involving Matt Shea provide insight into patriot motion and the extent of their conspiracy thinking
Leaked Signal themes from an online chat network around six-term Washington state Republican representative Matt Shea show new evidence of violent fictions, surveillance of recognized antagonists, plot imagining, Islamophobia, and support for white nationalists.
The messages from the schmooze radical, exchanged between October 2017 and October 2018, demonstrate Shea’s network includes other dishing, former and aspiring rightwing legislators from Idaho and Washington, alongside activists associated with militia groups, anti-environmental lawsuits, and pro-gun activism.
They too testify participates, including Shea, in preparations for economic and societal collapse even as they campaign for the secession of eastern Washington from the remainder of the state.
The letters provide a rare insight into the inner workings- and paranoia- of the so-called patriot movement, whose members have attended standoffs with the federal government in Nevada and Oregon, and whose far-right sentiments ought to have controversially promoted by Shea.
Lindsay Schubiner, a program director at the progressive Western States Center, said of the chats:” The converse contents discover Shea acting more like a militia ruler than an elected official. His conspiratorial and violent mindset are on full parade. If it was not already clear, Shea has demonstrated that he is unfit for public part. Now it’s time for his colleagues in the Washington house of representatives to hold him accountable .”
The group chat the themes appeared in was frequently described by players as an “intel” channel for sharing information among a large group of Shea’s affiliates, including 😛 TAGEND
Washington state representative Matt Shea, who positions within the schmooze under a frequently used online alias Verrumbellator.
Two-term Idaho state representative Heather Scott.
Former Spokane Valley councilman and Shea ally Mike Munch.
Former Spokane Valley councilman and podcaster Caleb Collier.
An account posting as “Marble”, attached to a phone number registered to Anne Byrd, who with husband Pastor Barry Byrd results the secretive Marble Community Church, headquartered in a complex in remote north-east Washington.
Broadcaster and Shea lieutenant Jack Robertson, also known as John Jacob Schmidt.
Patriot movement activist and Malheur standoff participant Anthony Bosworth. Bosworth flows a patriot flow radical announced Liberty For All, once operated for Yakima county sheriff, and was charged with assaulting his daughter in downtown Yakima.
Former Spokane county employee and retired air force officer John Christina.
Former candidate for Washington commissioner of public lands Steve McLaughlin, who told the SPLC in 2016 that he was pulling back from inclusion the patriot movement
Jay Pounder, a former Shea confidant who revealed the chitchats to the Guardian.
A rightwing rally in Portland last year, where far-right objectors and antifa counter-protesters clashed. Photograph: John Rudoff/ Rex/ Shutterstock