FBI agents met with members of Senator Mitch McConnell’s campaign at the senator’s campaign office Wednesday, a day after the Kentucky Republican accused Progress Kentucky of bugging his office in February. Federal investigators are beginning an investigation into the matter.
NBC reports that FBI agents were at campaign headquarters for roughly an hour. The campaign handed over pertinent information to the agents, but what that information was has not been revealed.
In February, Mother Jones published a two-minute audio recording of the McConnell campaign debating whether it was worthwhile to go after actress Ashley Judd’s mental health, religion, and family values. Judd was considering running for the Senate against McConnell, but decided not to last month. Mother Jones has since denied obtaining the audio through any illicit means.
In a press conference yesterday, McConnell smeared his liberal opponents but refused to take questions over whether he actually did consider Judd’s personal life to be fair game in a campaign.
“As you know last month my wife’s ethnicity was attacked by a left-wing group in Kentucky and then apparently they also bugged my headquarters,” McConnell said. “So I think that pretty much sums up the way the political left is operating in Kentucky.”
The McConnell campaign has yet to produce any hard evidence to back up its accusations.
Politico reports that McConnell’s re-election campaign is expected to be one of the nastiest and expensive in the country. The Senator’s approval rating are down, but Democrats have yet to line up a strong candidate to challenge him.
While Kentucky has voted for Republican presidential candidates since 2000, the state voted for Bill Clinton twice and currently has a Democratic governor.
McConnell has served as the Senate Minority Leader since 2007 and is the fourth-highest ranking Republican in the country, making him a high-profile target.
If McConnell’s accusations are true, it would place Democrat’s on the defensive in their efforts to unseat the prominent Republican. On the other hand, it takes evidence to prove that a campaign office has been bugged.