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Rep. Matt Shea discussed spying on Spokane residents, investigative report says

An investigation by the The Guardian revealed Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) had discussions with right-wing figures about conducting surveillance of Spokane residents.

Editor's note: Above video references Rep. Shea losing his leadership position in Olympia 

SPOKANE, Wash. — Lawmakers at the state and national level are responding to an investigative report published by The Guardian that alleges a state representative from Spokane Valley discussed spying on Spokane residents for political reasons.

Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib (D-Wash.) tweeted a response to the author of the report Saturday night. The Guardian article alleges Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) discussed conducting background checks on three individual Spokane residents at the request of an associate for political purposes.

Lt. Gov. Habib called on State House Republicans to eject Rep. Shea from their caucus.

"Obtaining background checks on people for the purpose of planning violence against them is a crime, and even offering to do so is clearly 100% unacceptable in the Legislature," Lt. Gov. Habib tweeted.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also responded to Shea's alleged discussions on Twitter, calling them "deeply harmful."

"These views and discussions are deeply harmful and run completely counter to the values we aspire to. We all need to speak out against them," she wrote. 

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) also tweeted a response to the article's author. Rep. Omar, a first term Congresswoman, has become a controversial figure since her election in November last year.

The report states Rep. Shea "appeared willing to participate directly in surveillance of activists," based on conversions obtained by The Guardian.

"In response to a request in the chat for background checks on Spokane residents, Shea volunteered to help, going on to name three individuals - including an organizer for the liberal group, Indivisible, and a college professor," the report reads.

RELATED: State Rep. Matt Shea loses leadership position in Olympia

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Others involved in these discussions include far-right radio personality Jack Robertson, former Yakima Co. Sheriff candidate Anthony Bosworth, and one other individual who was granted anonymity by The Guardian due to cooperation with the investigation.

RELATED: Washington Rep. Matt Shea attacks 'smear piece' in Rolling Stone

KREM reached out to Rep. Shea's office for comment about the article and it's responses from lawmakers, but has not yet received a response. 

KREM also reached out to the Washington State Republicans for a response to the article and Lt. Gov. Habib's tweet.

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