OLYMPIA — Washington lawmakers likely won’t vote to expel Washington Rep. Matt Shea from the Legislature, according to a statement by House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma.
A House-commissioned investigation released in December concluded that Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley, planned and participated in domestic terrorism with his involvement in three government standoffs, including the one at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon.
After the release of that report — which was forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI — House Republicans suspended Shea from their caucus. The suspension cost Shea access to political staff and committee assignments.
But no Republicans this week were willing to sign on to a letter circulated by Democrats calling for an expulsion vote. A vote to expel Shea would need GOP support to reach the required two-thirds majority.
“It is profoundly disappointing and, I believe, destructive to the institution that not a single Republican member of the House signed the letter,” Jinkins said in a statement. “House Democrats believe, uniformly, that Rep. Shea’s acts to promote political violence warrant expulsion.”
Shea has denied the report’s conclusions, calling them false allegations and criticizing the investigation as a “Marxist smear campaign.” He has refused calls to resign and intends to run for reelection.
In her statement, Jinkins said she “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,” she said. “I’ll let future actions be decided after we’ve done our work here for the people of Washington state.”