Politics
11:59 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Curtis Morrison Says Trial Over Secret Recording Could Reveal Mitch McConnell Wrongdoing

Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

Curtis Morrison, who recently admitted to secretly recording one of Senator Mitch McConnell's campaign strategy sessions, is once again granting interviews.

Morrison and I had a long conversation Monday afternoon. The full audio is below. Here are some takeaways:

Morrison has a goal

According to Morrison, a grand jury is meeting in this case (the U.S. Attorney does not comment on active FBI investigations). He says he hasn't thought about the legality of his recording, but he does see a benefit if the case goes to trial.

Morrison says the process of discovery for a potential trial would reveal who was in the meeting he recorded Specifically, Morrison wants to know if a representative of a Super PAC was present.

"Whoever was in that room is important because it's very possible that if one of those people was in the room, he's guilty of [violating] federal campaign finance laws," he says.

He says the press isn't doing its job

Morrison says reporters need to do more to find out who was in the room. He's accused many outlets (including WFPL) of not pressing McConnell more on who was in the room.

"The beauty of me being indicted…we'll find that out," says Morrison.

He doesn't consider this a Progress Kentucky action

Morrison volunteered for a super PAC, Progress Kentucky. Shawn Reilly, the PAC's founder, was present when Morrison made the recording. Morrison insists Shawn was only there to help a friend and not in any other capacity.

Further, Morrison says he and Reilly disagreed over whether to release the tape (some of this is detailed in the piece Morrison wrote for Salon).

"He's at a different place in his life. I have nothing to lose," he says.

Morrison says the two haven't talked since the week before Mother Jones published the then-unattributed recording.

Morrison thinks he's helped his cause

McConnell hasn't been shy about using the recording incident in campaign ads and speeches. But Morrison says the content of the tape (including discussion of a plan to use then-rumored candidate Ashley Judd's mental health in attack ads) could be behind a recent shift in polls in favor of potential Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Morrison still believes this tape will contribute to McConnell losing his seat in next year's election.

He won't say who his lawyer is

Many outlets (including WFPL) have asked Morrison who his attorney is. He has a legal defense fund, and insists he's hired someone, but he won't say who, nor will the U.S. attorney.

"I'm paying my attorney to deal with the legal aspects of the situation," says Morrison. "I'm not paying him to chit-chat with you and Phillip and Kenny."

He isn't thinking much about the law

Morrison is focused on finding out who was in the meeting he recorded. He says he hasn't thought much about whether the taping was legal, and he says he hasn't discussed it heavily with his lawyer.

"You don't know what they're charging, do you?" he asked me.

He plans to stay in California and keep up the activism

Morrison long said he wanted to be a journalist. He says this incident has put an end to that. He's planning to attend law school and achieve his goals by working in the legal profession.

Here's the interview: