Report on probe of Rep. Matt Shea may be released next week

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The results of a four-month investigation of state Rep. Matt Shea will not likely be released until next week, at the earliest.

Leaders of the state House of Representatives were briefed on the telephone about the report on Wednesday.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Democrats plan to meet next week with their caucus leadership about the report. The newspaper says some version of the report or an executive summary will be released to the public after that.

The investigative team, headed by a former FBI agent and a former law enforcement officer, was hired in July to determine whether Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley, engaged in, planned or promoted political violence against individuals or groups, and to identify the extent of his involvement with groups or individuals who promote or plan political violence.

Earlier this year, reports of a 2017 online “chat” that included Shea first surfaced in the Guardian and later were expanded by The Spokesman-Review that indicated the lawmaker joined a discussion in which others suggested violence against left-wing protestors.

Based on transcripts of the online “chat,” there’s no indication Shea advocated violence himself, although at one point he did offer to do background checks on political opponents.