The Executive Director of the progressive Super PAC Progress Kentucky, Shawn Reilly, who was accused of being one of the two men who illicitly taped a private meeting between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and aides, is denying that he took part in any such action.
He is cooperating with the FBI in looking for his associate, Curtis Morrison, according to Reilly’s attorney, Annie O’ Connell:
Shawn Reilly has cooperated fully with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI, from the date the recording was released by Mother Jones. Our position, our statement, is that Mr. Reilly is innocent of any criminal wrongdoing. He is at most a witness, not a suspect… Shawn has provided material assistance to the investigators, and specifically he has provided information that we believe has been helpful in their efforts to locate Curtis Morrison… We’re aware there’s a version of events that’s currently being reported where someone purporting to be a spokesman for the Democratic Party is discussing what he believes happened. We completely disavow the version of events that is being circulated.
Progress Kentucky has been accused of taping the McConnell meeting by Jacob Conway, a Democrat from Kentucky. Conway said both Reilly and Morrison, who founded Progress Kentucky, had bragged about taping the meeting to him.
Conway alleged that Morrison and Reilly overheard the McConnell closed-door meeting in the hallway; while one held the elevator open, the other taped the meeting.
O’Connell did admit Reilly was there when the taping took place: “We’re not disavowing that he was present. Our client never entered the room where the meeting was taking place.”
This is not the first time Progress Kentucky has crossed the ethical line with McConnell; in March, they tweeted a racial insult against McConnell’s Taiwanese wife, Elaine Chao, the former Labor Secretary.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is putting distance between itself and Progress Kentucky; after the racial tweet, some Kentucky Democrats disavowed the super-PAC.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he had “never heard of these folks.”
I’ve helped the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party’s legitimate organizations raise money for a long, long time. If I were asked to help them, if that’s the kind of conduct they were involved in, I would never work with them… I’d bet my house that they are not associated with the state Democratic Party. These extremist groups are not affiliated with the state Democratic Party — and I would wager to say that there are groups like that on the Republican side as well.
Nathan Smith, a major Kentucky Democratic donor, said he doesn’t “know much about” Progress Kentucky. “I have not had a conversation with them, no. I have no impression — I’ve not seen anything they’ve done. I don’t know who is even behind the group.”
Progress Kentucky’s treasurer, Douglas Davis, has resigned, saying, “I have resigned my position as treasurer and did not and do not condone any allegations of illegal activity that might have taken place.”