Beltway Confidential

Mitch McConnell campaign bugger files FBI complaint accusing GOP of cyber fraud

By |
Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,FBI,Republican Party,Mitch McConnell,Analysis

Curtis Morrison, the liberal activist who secretly taped Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., discussing re-election strategy with his campaign team, filed a complaint yesterday with the FBI’s cybercrime team accusing the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) of tricking Democrats into donating to re-elect McConnell.

The complaint focuses on a website launched by Republicans in the name of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, D-Ky., after she announced her decision to challenge McConnell for Senate. The website portrays her as a liberal loyal to President Obama.

“No doubt, the NRSC is collecting contributions from less-savvy website visitors, often elderly or unable to read small print, who believe they are contributing to Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign,” Morrison wrote in an email to, among others, the Washington Examiner. “(Especially in the window of a few days when Grimes did not have a campaign website up.)”

The complaint echoes the Grimes campaign’s response to the website. “This is another failed attempt by Washington insiders to try to deceive Kentucky voters,” Grimes spokesman Jonathan Hurst told WHAS11, a local Kentucky outlet, in a statement Friday.

“This fraud crosses a line, because it’s exploitative and probably illegal,” Morrison wrote in the email. The donate button is placed at the bottom of the website, above a note stating that the National Republican Senatorial Committee owns the page, and it links to an NRSC splash page that praises McConnell.

Brad Dayspring, described by Morrison as “the NRSC strategist most-likely responsible for the fraud,” brushed off the activist’s question about the site. “[D]on’t really think you should be lecturing anyone about the law,” he replied on Twitter when Morrison suggested that WHAS-TV’s Joe Arnold ask the Republicans “how they’re going to report those expenditures to FEC? Seems potentially problematic.”

Dayspring was apparently referring to Morrison’s previous brush with the McConnell campaign and the FBI, which occurred after he secretly taped a conversation that McConnell had with staff at a campaign office in Kentucky earlier this year.

“Here’s the latest: An assistant U.S. attorney, Bryan Calhoun, telephoned my attorney yesterday, asking to meet with him next Friday as charges against me are being presented to a grand jury,” Morrison wrote in a Salon column published May 31. 2013.

Morrison’s email sign-off emphasized that he is “still unindicted.”

 

View article comments Leave a comment