LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Recordings of strategy meetings by the Mitch McConnell campaign in the Senator's office that were leaked to a magazine has put the FBI on the case. WAVE 3 News first reported that two members of Progress Kentucky are being blamed for the secret recordings that were leaked to the Mother Jones website this week. Now, a lawyer for one of the men told us her client had nothing to do with making the tapes.
Only WAVE 3 News was there at 5:30 p.m. on April 11 as Jacob Conway walked into the FBI's Louisville headquarters to talk with investigators. Conway, a vice chair with the Louisville Jefferson County Democratic Party, claims Shawn Reilly and Curt Morrison, two members of Progress Kentucky, told him they made the recording of McConnell and his campaign advisers.
Conway said the two told him they overheard the conversation and he assumed they recorded it on a cell phone. Conway told WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Eric Flack the recordings were made when the men went to a public event at the McConnell office on Bishop Lane in February and overheard a campaign strategy meeting about then would-be challenger Ashley Judd.
Among the recordings, staffers are heard saying Judd suffered suicidal tendencies and that she was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the 1990s.
"I did it to protect the Democratic Party which I love," said Conway of the reason he went to authorities, "I did not do it to get Mr. Reilly or Mr. Morrison or Progress Kentucky in trouble, I did it to protect the Democratic Party."
McConnell staffers contacted the FBI believing the office had been bugged. Kentucky law allows recordings when only one party is aware of the taping. If this recording was made from a hallway, it could be considered eavesdropping, a felony.
Annie O'Connell, Reilly's attorney, said Conway is mistaken. O'Connell maintains Reilly had nothing to do with recording the conversation. According to O'Connell, after Reilly realized it had been leaked to Mother Jones, he went to the U.S. Attorney and the FBI.
"He was present in the building," O'Connell said, "but he is nothing more than a witness to what actually happened."
"They overheard the conversation and one of the two of them got antsy and recorded it and whatever Mr. Reilly says Mr. Reilly he has to answer to his own conscience," Conway responded.
We tried to contact Morrison several times, but didn't reach him for comment.
Earlier Thursday, NBC News confirmed Progress Kentucky Treasurer Doug Davis resigned. When asked directly if Reilly and Morrison are responsible for the recordings, Davis said, "I can't comment."
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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