A break in the mystery of who may have eavesdropped on the Feb. 2 campaign strategy session for the reelection campaign of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): WFPL of Louisville is reporting that operatives with a super PAC named “Progress Kentucky” made the controversial recording.
Earlier this week, Mother Jones released a tape and transcript of the session, in which the McConnell team discusses attacks on then-prospective opponent actor Ashley Judd, and mentions her past emotional and mental turmoil. The FBI began looking into the recording at the behest of the McConnell camp.
WFPL says this about the tape’s provenance: “Jacob Conway, who is on the executive committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, says that day [Feb. 2], Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, who founded and volunteered for Progress Kentucky, respectively, bragged to him about how they recorded the meeting.”
Upon release of the tapes, Mother Jones contended that it didn’t participate in the eavesdropping that that it believed the recording methods bore no resemblance to the “Watergate-style” tactics alleged by a McConnell campaign aide. The WFPL report appears to square with this version of events, though David Corn, Mother Jones’s Washington bureau chief, won’t comment on who coughed up the recording: “I’m not commenting on any reports about the identity of the sources,” he tells the Erik Wemple Blog. “As we have said in the past, we were not involved in the making of the tape.” That being the case, “there’s no legal liability,” says Corn.
Earlier this week, the Erik Wemple Blog took a look at a Supreme Court ruling protecting news organizations that publish recordings that were obtained illegally.
(Disclosure: My wife works at Mother Jones)