Messages from network involving Matt Shea provide insight into patriot move and the extent of their conspiracy thinking

Leaked Signal themes from an online chat system around six-term Washington state Republican representative Matt Shea show new evidence of violent fictions, surveillance of recognized adversaries, plot concluding, Islamophobia, and support for white nationalists.

The meanings from the converse radical, exchanged between October 2017 and October 2018, substantiate Shea’s network includes other providing, former and aspiring rightwing politicians from Idaho and Washington, alongside activists associated with militia groups, anti-environmental effects, and pro-gun activism.

They likewise show players, including Shea, preparing for economic and societal collapse even as they campaign for the secession of eastern Washington from the remainder of the state.

The contents supply a rare insight into the inner workings- and paranoia- of the so-called patriot movement, whose members have participated in stalemates with federal government departments in Nevada and Oregon, and whose far-right impressions have been controversially promoted by Shea.

Lindsay Schubiner, a program director at the progressive Western Commonwealth Center, said of the chats:” The converse words discover Shea acting more like a militia commander than an elected official. His conspiratorial and violent mindset are on full presentation. If it was not already clear, Shea has demonstrated that he is unfit for public bureau. Now it’s time for my honourable colleagues in the Washington house of representatives to hold him accountable .”

Shea is currently under investigation by the Washington state house after reporting on his activities by the Guardian and local media outlets.

The network

The group chat the contents is indicated in was frequently described by participants as an “intel” path for sharing information among a large group of Shea’s accompanieds, including 😛 TAGEND

Washington state representative Matt Shea, who posts in the converse 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 leads-in 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 lopes a patriot movement radical called Liberty For All, once passed 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 districts Steve McLaughlin, who told the SPLC in 2016 that he was pulling back from commitment the patriot movement

Jay Pounder, a former Shea confidant who divulged the schmoozes to the Guardian.

A rightwing rally in Portland last year, where far-right objectors and antifa counter-protesters clashed. Photograph: John Rudoff/ Rex/ Shutterstock

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