Shephard, Woods alleged, used the Senate Dining Room as his venue to close this tax credit investment deal. “He just thought that was fantastic,” Woods said. “He could take them to the Senate Dining Room and entertain them.”
“I’ve never been there, I don’t know if you have,” Woods added, in his interview with the GOP operatives. “I assume it’s a really nice place. But if nothing else, they’ve gotta be impressed because not everyone can walk in. You can’t just sign the check.”
A GOP operative interrupted Woods during the interview: “Does [Sen.] Claire [McCaskill] have an understanding of this?”
“Oh, hell yes,” Woods responded. “He [Shepard] doesn’t do anything — well, let me put it this way — he doesn’t do anything without Claire understanding it.”
“Sometimes he does it even if she says ‘I don’t want you to.’ Which — she could have been, in a prior life, a merchant marine. You know, she can cuss with the best of them, chew your ass. But yeah, she’s aware of everything he does.”
The GOP operative doing the interview then asked Woods whether there’s a “benefit to him [Shepard] doing all this with her being in the US Senate,” other than the fact that he “can take these guys to dinner.”
Woods replied: “I think it opens more doors for him.”
This audio release comes on the heels of the Associated Press discovering that McCaskill’s husband’s businesses have “received $40 million in government subsidies.”
McCaskill’s senate race opponent, Republican Rep. Todd Akin, cut an ad bashing McCaskill for her husband’s businesses after that article was published, calling her “corrupt.”
Akin’s campaign suffered dramatically after his “legitimate rape” incident earlier this season, right after he won the GOP primary, but has recovered somewhat as Sen. Jim DeMint’s PAC — the Senate Conservatives Fund — threw its weight behind him.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have remained supportive of Akin as well, but the National Republican Senatorial Committee and other other GOP establishment groups have avoided weighing into the race on Akin’s behalf after the scandal.
Woods was unreachable for comment, despite TheDC’s efforts to contact him. McCaskill’s senate office spokesman Drew Pusateri told TheDC that theDC’s question was a “campaign-relat
UPDATE, 10:17 p.m.:
After Thursday evening’s debate between McCaskill and Akin, Dana Loesch, a conservative media personality, confronted the senator about the allegation.
McCaskill responded: “This is Dana Loesch, who’s working really hard for my opponent.” McCaskill accused Loesch of being a “campaign operative” and said Woods, the whistle-blower, is a “felon.”
“We’ll be happy to give you an interview, when this is over, about his felony record, and how he hid that from my husband,” McCaskill said. “He’s been convicted twice and in prison for embezzlement and lied about it. He stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from two different companies he worked for.”
When asked if she denied Woods’ allegations, McCaskill said: “Absolutely. What a ridiculous thing to say.”
McCaskill in April spoke about the importance of protecting whistle-blowers.
“Whistle-blowers who raise the alarm about waste, fraud, and abuse should be commended-not punished,” McCaskill said, according to a press release her office sent out on April 26. “Whistle-blowers are the unsung heroes of our fight to root out inappropriate and sometimes illegal behavior in government. This is a good step toward ensuring we’re protecting them from being punished for their work to protect taxpayer dollars.”
Watch McCaskill respond to the allegations: