SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Newly leaked emails show that conservative state Rep. Matt Shea has had close ties with a group that trained children and young men for religious combat in Washington state.
The emails were first revealed in The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, while Shea’s ties with Team Rugged also showed up in a video on Shea’s public Facebook page.
Team Rugged’s Facebook page and website were taken down after The Guardian reported about the emails on Wednesday. It’s unclear if the group is still active.
The Facebook page had included videos of Team Rugged members completing an obstacle course and firing Airsoft guns in Marble, a conservative religious community in northern Stevens County , north of Spokane.
The emails between Caughran and Shea were contained in a trove of Shea-related documents obtained by The Spokesman-Review through multiple sources. The material has been turned over to a team of private investigators hired by the state House of Representatives to determine whether Shea has promoted political violence .