Democratic party official stands by McConnell tape story
Curt Morrison (Source: Facebook)
Shawn Reilly (Source: Insider Louisville)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There are new developments in the saga of the secret audio recording of Senator Mitch McConnell. The Jefferson County Democratic Party official who publicly identified two men suspected of making the recording denies allegations he has the story wrong. This, as Jacob Conway's party chairman distances the party from the controversy, and Conway.
Friday, Conway said he is standing behind what he told us, and the FBI, despite claims from one of the accused his story is inaccurate.
Conway claims two members of the liberal group Progress Kentucky secretly recorded McConnell and his advisers talking about would-be challenger Ashley Judd after a public event at McConnell's Louisville office back in February. Conway told FBI investigators the recordings were made by Curt Morrison and Shawn Reilly. Conway said both Reilly and Morrison told him about the recordings in separate conversations.
Annie O'Connell, co-counsel for Reilly, said her client never discussed the recording with Conway.
"He did not participate in any criminal activity. He is nothing but simply a witness," O'Connell said. "This is not some sort of Nixonian bugging event."
O'Connell admits Reilly went to Sen. McConnell's office on Bishop Lane with Morrison that day, but she said it was Morrison who made the tape and Reilly was only a witness.
"You know Shawn is just an average citizen he's not a lawyer," O'Connell said. "It's not for him to decide what's legal, illegal. That's why he came forward when the recording was released."
O'Connell said Reilly went to the U.S. Attorney's Office the same day the audio was released by Mother Jones magazine. The audio captures McConnell and his staff discussing how to attack would be opponent Ashley Judd in a senate campaign including using her mental health history against her. Because the conversation was allegedly recorded from a hallway, it could be considered eavesdropping, a felony.
The FBI has not publicly commented on the investigation. Morrison has not responded to several messages left on his cell phone.
Despite what Reilly's attorney claims, Conway still contends both men came to him about the McConnell recordings.
"You know whatever Mr. Reilly says, I'm not his attorney. I'm not Mr. Reilly. He has to answer to his own conscious. He knows what was in his heart."
Meanwhile, Jefferson County Democratic Party chair Bill Ryan said Conway is speaking for himself and not the party in going public with all this.
"His recent involvement with the situation is voluntary and is in no way connected to the party," Ryan said.