Lawyer For Activist In McConnell Tape Case: My Client Was Only A Witness

A lawyer for one of the men tied to the Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) secret tape case told TPM on Thursday that his client was merely a “witness” to the incident.

Louisville attorney Ted Shouse, who is representing Shawn Reilly, said he believes Reilly is “still a witness and not a suspect” in the case, and that Reilly has been cooperating with federal officials looking into the matter.

“We met with the assistant U.S. attorney on the day this went public,” Shouse said, referring to Tuesday, when Mother Jones magazine published recordings of a Feb. 2 private strategy session in which McConnell and aides discussed their then-potential opponent, Ashley Judd. 

On Thursday, Jacob Conway, a low-level Democratic Party official in Jefferson County, Ky., told media outlets that both Reilly, the executive director of the Democratic super PAC Progress Kentucky, and Curtis Morrison, an activist and former Progress Kentucky volunteer, had admitted to him that they were the source of the recordings. Conway told TPM that the FBI had contacted him about the matter. But according to Shouse, Conway had his facts wrong.

“We think Mr. Conway has mischaracterized and misrepresented what went down,” Shouse said. 

Shouse also denied the suggestion that the recordings were made through some kind of “Nixonian” use of bugs. 

“They were in the building together,” Shouse said of his client and Morrison. “They never entered Sen. McConnell’s office. 

Shouse said that his client had provided authorities with evidence “to assist them in locating Curtis Morrison,” but he declined to elaborate on whether he knew that officials were actively searching for Morrison. 

As for his client, Shouse said, “we’re confident he won’t be arrested.”  

Morrison did not respond to calls and emails from TPM on Thursday.