Concerns Raised After Ex-GOP Lawmaker Accused Of Domestic Terrorism Takes 62 Ukrainian Children To Be Adopted In US

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Matt Shea and Ukrainian families fleeing

In 2019, a former Washington state legislator by the name of Matt Shea was accused of having “planned, engaged in, and promoted a total of three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States government.”

Since Shea did not seek out re-election (understandably), he’s had to find other ways to use his free time — like being on the ground in Ukraine and Poland during the war.

Matt Shea claims to have rescued 62 Ukrainian children from the war-torn country.

That’s not all, Shea is also planning on bringing them to the United States so that they can be adopted into new families.

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On March 8th, Shea, whose wife is from Ukraine, revealed that he had been “on the ground in Ukraine and Poland” for the last week or so.

After being on the phone with his “prospective daughters” and hearing gunfire in the background, he “took in a team to rescue” the children from an orphanage in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

The Seattle Times reported about Shea’s presence in Poland earlier this week, mentioning that he had been on the Polish TV show Idź Pod Prąd a week before discussing his work with a Texas group called Loving Families and Homes for Orphans.

He said that the group “is a hosting organization that hosts Ukrainian orphans in America with Ukrainian families with the intent that ultimately that ends in adoption.”

However, the group is not registered with the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, the group that oversees American agencies involved in international adoption.

Locals who have come into contact with Shea have increasing concerns about his intentions and his true mission after initial impressions weren’t pleasant.

Volunteers have expressed concern about Shea's intentions.

The Spokesman-Review, a publication based in Shea's former district, Spokane, spoke to two locals who said that on Sunday, Shea refused to let Polish volunteers or doctors see the children that were staying in the Polish town Kazimierz Dolny.

“The conversation wasn’t very pleasant, to be honest,” one local, a woman who works in the town’s mayoral office told the Spokesman-Review. She told the Seattle Times, “I got the feeling in my gut that something’s wrong with this guy. He didn’t want to tell me his last name.”

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Fortunately, after the initial refusal, a group of local authorities, which included the town’s mayor, were able to get a look at the children and confirm that they were being well cared for.

Thursday morning, Shea made a post on Facebook to try and clear up the confusion on his operation.

“We speak with Ukrainian government officials almost daily and currently all adoptions and hosting programs are on hold, understandably,” he wrote in the post.

The website for Loving Families and Homes for Orphans was also seeing reports of not working properly earlier this week, which he addressed by saying that the website has been “working perfectly for months and every day we have been here.”

During his time on the Polish TV show on March 10th, he addressed rumors that people were spreading about him wanting to “sell the children,” calling it “Russian-style propaganda.”

“This is Russian-style propaganda and only Russian-style propaganda could turn a rescue mission of orphans to a resort-style facility that has basketball hoops and a soccer field,” Shea said.

“We’re even coordinating horse therapy which is for trauma. It also has medical care, psychological care. Only Russian-style propaganda could turn something that good into something that bad.”

The Spokesman-Review reported that the U.S. State Department is now monitoring the situation.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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