(An earlier version of this article did not include Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s $20,500 expense to McShane LLC. for Virginia voter lists.)
A Nevada-based consultant firm that previously worked for Virginia’s Republican lieutenant governor nominee Winsome Sears was involved in an effort trying to recruit members of the Proud Boys, a far-right, neo-fascist group, to participate in a Nevada rally contesting the 2020 presidential election results.
McShane LLC was paid more than $90,000 by Sears’ lieutenant governor campaign between January and May of this year. That means that more than 18% of the money spent in total by Sears during the first six months of this year went to McShane LLC, where a high-ranking member of the firm was directly involved in seeking out Proud Boys to protest the 2020 election results.
A spokesperson for Sears’ campaign originally said McShane LLC was terminated in May when they were made aware of the firm’s actions. But Monday afternoon, the Sears campaign clarified that they mutually parted ways with the firm after the convention and prior to the news of their affiliation with the Proud Boys. They blamed a staff change that happened since that time for the miscommunication on the timeline.
Additionally, Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin purchased $20,500 worth of Virginia voter lists from McShane LLC in February and April. Youngkin’s campaign did not provide comment for this article.
“Sarah what are you doing tomorrow? Might need use of your fairy dust,” wrote Woodrow Johnston, a VP at McShane LLC, at 10:17 p.m.
Sarah Cirillo, a Nevada Republican operative at the time, responded three minutes later: “For you… Free.”
Cirillo then sent another message one minute later to Johnston saying “Anything. Just tell [me].”
“Not sure yet, don’t pull the trigger. But Gosar is leading the charge on a ‘Brooks Brothers Riot’ down in AZ,” Johnston responded at 10:23 p.m. One minute later, Johnston sent: “We might need to do the same here in Nevada. Which means we need to get the Proud Boys out.”
Cirillo then talked about living in Florida during the 2000 presidential recount and how that prepared her for this. “So I’m ready,” she said.
At 10:31 p.m., Johnston wrote: “I’ll let you know as soon as I know it’s happening. But wanted you to be mentally ready.”
The Nevada Current reports that Cirillo then sent an email to a group of Republicans at 11:05 p.m. and she wrote “just received this from the GOP. They are asking me to potentially gather the ‘boys and all the patriots and lead a literal (non violent) charge on the County Elections office.”
In a statement provided to Nevada Current at the end of May, Cirillo provided more context: “The McShane group knew I was a progressive and despite that, relied on me for help. If I didn’t specify that the protestors should forego violence, I’m not sure what would have happened.”
The last payment to McShane from the Sears campaign was in May according to the latest financial reports from the Virginia Public Access Project.
Requests for comment from McShane LLC have not been returned. In a statement to the Nevada Current, the founder of the firm denied any knowledge that someone from his firm requested Proud Boy attendance. “I have no reason to believe that’s the case,” said Rory McShane. “That would be the first time I’ve heard of it.”
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