OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state republicans would not sign a letter calling for the expulsion of Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea.
According to a letter to Washington State Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins and Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, all 98 members of the state House of Representatives were asked to sign the document calling for Shea’s expulsion. It shows 56 democrats signed the letter, but no republicans did.
The letter cites the independent investigation by the Rampart Group that found Shea “engaged in the planning and promoting of political violence,” as the reason for his expulsion.
Speaker Jinkins issued a statement about the letter Friday saying: “It is profoundly disappointing and, I believe, destructive to the institution that not a single Republican member of the House signed the letter. House Democrats believe, uniformly, that Rep. Shea’s acts to promote political violence warrant expulsion. Our attempts to have a discussion as a full body were not successful. While 56 members did sign the letter, without Republican support any expulsion of Matt Shea is futile. I will not spend another minute trying to convince my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stand up for what is right. There are 20 days left in this session, and I’m focused on addressing the needs across our state and finishing on time. I’ll let future actions be decided after we’ve done our work here for the people of Washington state.”
A two-thirds majority vote would be required to expell a member of the House. The letter showing a lack of support from republican lawmakers likely means Shea would not be expelled.
The Washington State House Republican Caucus expelled Shea after the investigation by the Rampart Group. This means Shea cannot use Republican staff, his office was moved away from the rest of the House Republican Caucus, and he cannot meet with caucus members.
Shea has previously called the report a lie saying, “I have been falsely accused of being a 'domestic terrorist' by a private investigator who never spoke to the principals involved in the incidents she described and relied instead on anonymous sources.”