Democrats criticize GOP Rep. Shea for past chat messages

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee and other Democrats in Washington state are criticizing conservative state Rep. Matt Shea for appearing to support spying on political opponents.

Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley, is a far-right politician with a long history of controversial positions, including a desire to split eastern Washington from the liberal west side of the state.

The Guardian newspaper reported Saturday it had obtained the contents of chats involving Shea and three other men. The chats on the messaging app Signal took place in the days leading up to a supposed left-wing revolt in November 2017. The men proposed to confront leftists with a variety of tactics, including violence, the newspaper said. The revolt never occurred.

Shea did not respond to a telephone message and email sent by The Associated Press.