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Harris says imminent release of documents will help explain Shea suspension

House Republican Caucus Chair Rep. Paul Harris told the Wire this morning that documents further elucidating Rep. Matt Shea’s engagement with activities investigators have classified as ‘domestic terrorism’ will be released today at noon.

Update: As of noon today, the documents were not released. The Chief Clerk’s Office said that the documents will be posted on a newly created website before the end of the day.

According to Harris, the documents help explain the decision by House Minority Leader JT Wilcox to suspend Shea from the caucus.

Today at noon, all the footnoted documents that JT and I and the leadership team saw when we made this decision will be made available to the public.”

Harris also said that even more supporting documents, 900 or so, are likely to be released sometime in the next two or three weeks.

The release of these documents comes in the wake of critical resolutions released by local GOP branches in four counties: Whatcom, Skamania, Grant, and Cowlitz. The resolutions called for the reinstatement of Shea, and some have even called for Wilcox to step down as a result of his actions.

While Rep. Harris said that the local parties “have the absolute right” to issue their own responses, he wishes that they had waited for the release of these new supporting documents, which help expound on the way party leaders responded to findings from the Shea investigation.

When the counties started doing this, we said maybe before you get in front of your skis on this stuff, you can look at the documents that we’ve been able to look at, because they will be released. But as you can see only four counties chose to weigh in before hand. But I think JT Wilcox and the House Republican Caucus have received overwhelming support from the state party in the vast majority of the counties. I think these [four counties] are some outliers, and that’s fine.”

Harris underscored that despite the backlash Wilcox received from the four aforementioned counties, the Minority Leader garnered support from every other county at a recent state party meeting in Wenatchee.

He went to the source, stood before all the counties, and they weighed in on the issue. The four counties [who issued resolutions], they lost resoundingly.”

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