FRANKFORT — The story of the surreptitious taping of a Mitch McConnell campaign strategy meeting got even more complicated Thursday when an attorney said his client was “witness to a potential violation” and is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Ted Shouse said he represents Shawn O’Reilly, who is associated with the Kentucky Progress PAC which McConnell and his campaign have alleged secretly made the recording of the Feb. 2 private meeting.
He said Reilly had committed no violation but had witnessed the events as reported earlier by WFPL Public Radio in Louisville. Earlier Thursday, the NPR affiliate reported that Jacob Conway, a member of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Executive Committee, told the station that Reilly and Curtis Morrison had “bragged” to him they had made the recording through a vent in a doorway to the meeting room.
The tape was released earlier this week, along with a transcript by Mother Jones Magazine, the same news source that reported on the now infamous “47-percent” comments by Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney last fall.
On the tape, McConnell is heard to say is the “whack-a-mole” portion of the campaign where, like the game of that name, the campaign will hit any potential opponent who pops up. During the meeting, a person identified on the transcript only as “presenter” talks about Ashley Judd’s public comments about her previous treatment for depression, Christianity and other controversial comments.
Since the Feb. 2 meeting, Judd, who was considering a race against McConnell, has said she will not run. Speculation then turned to Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The presenter goes on to say on the tape that the campaign is conducting research on Grimes and mentions her father, Jerry Lundergan, a political activist, former Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman, and businessman.