SPOKANE, Wash. - The GOP is pledging to continue moving forward with its own investigation into allegations against Rep. Matt Shea, while the Speaker of the House is exploring the option of bringing in an outside investigator.
A letter from House Republican Leader Rep. JT Wilcox responds to demands House Democrats made in a letter earlier in the day to reprimand Shea for far-right speech and activities.
"The House Republican Caucus stands united with you in embracing diversity and condemning hate, intolerance and violence of any kind. As I previously stated, 'Threats of political violence have no place in our society and I condemn them in the strongest terms,'" Wilcox said in the letter.
He continued to note that Republicans had begun developing an investigation and announced that the investigation would begin shortly after the session.
The letter goes on to push back against the demands for immediate action from the House Democratic Caucus. While the allegations against Shea are serious, Wilcox said they must be reviewed with fairness and due process.
The letter concludes by saying Republicans are dismayed that the matter has been politicized.
In their letter to Wilcox, Democrats had also demanded that Shea be removed as the top Republican of the House Committee on Environment and Energy. They contend that Shea's direct involvement in extremist activities erodes the state's ideas for fairness and equality.
"During the fall of 2017, Representative Shea communicated with political extremists who sought to violently disrupt the protests of people with opposing points of view," the letter said.