FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has admitted to secretly recording a private campaign meeting between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his aides earlier this year.
Curtis Morrison of Louisville made the admission Friday in a first-person account posted on Salon.com, where he also said an assistant U.S. attorney has notified his attorney that a grand jury will consider bringing charges next Friday.
A spokeswoman said the U.S. attorney’s office in Louisville would not comment. It was unclear who was representing Morrison. Morrison declined to comment via email Friday.
Morrison, a former volunteer for the political group Progress Kentucky, also acknowledged in the story that he provided the recording to Mother Jones magazine, which posted audio from the McConnell meeting and a transcript online in April.
Mother Jones had previously said the recording came from a confidential source.
On the recording, McConnell and his aides talked about opposition research into potential Democratic challengers, including actress Ashley Judd, a former Kentucky resident who later decided to skip the race. Aides discussed Judd’s past bouts with depression, previous political statements and religious beliefs and how the campaign might use that against her.
McConnell’s campaign had asked the FBI to investigate how the recording was made.
Under federal law, it is illegal to electronically record people without their knowledge if the person recording it is not part of the conversation. Kentucky has a similar state law.
Generally, well-known public figures have an expectation of privacy when they speak in their homes or other private retreats. The law prohibits bugging a room, secretly monitoring telephone conversations or intercepting computer communications. However, the publishers, in this case Mother Jones, may disseminate illegally taped conversations if they didn’t break any law in getting the recording.