ACORN-Slaying O'Keefe Arrested

James O'Keefe, mastermind of the series of videos exposing ACORN, and three other men were arrested for posing as telephone company employees and gaining access to the telephone closet serving the New Orleans district office of Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Jan. 29, 2010

UPDATE: A couple of new and interesting allegations have surfaced in the case against O'Keefe. Andrew Breitbart, who publicized O'Keefe’s series of ACORN sting videos and made the young filmmaker the darling of conservatives, claimed in an interview that O'Keefe had been denied access to an attorney for 28 hours after his arrest, sitting in jail, while the U.S. Attorney for eastern Louisiana, Jim Letten, leaked information to the media in an effort to portray the case as “Watergate junior.” Letten recused himself from the case a day after the arrests, leaving his top assistant to handle the matter.

Having been released from custody, O'Keefe acknowledged that his investigative approach was flawed but reiterated his theory that Landrieu was intentionally leaving phones unanswered in the wake of the controversial “Louisiana Purchase” of her vote on the Senate health care bill.

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Investigative journalist James O'Keefe, along with partner Hannah Giles, created the infamous series of videos last year that showed representatives of ACORN willingly advising the couple how to engage in illegal acts such as child prostitution, human trafficking and welfare fraud. For that, O'Keefe and Giles became the target of yet another lawsuit filed by an employee from ACORN’s Philadelphia office. Katherine Conway-Russell, the employee shown in the Philadelphia office video, filed suit against the pair alleging they disseminated the recordings “in a manner calculated to harm and injure” her.

The news doesn’t get any better, either. O'Keefe and three other men were arrested for posing as telephone company employees and gaining access to the telephone closet serving the New Orleans district office of Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu. The four-page charging affidavit alleges the four entered the building “for the purpose of willfully and maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States of America.” However, the charging document doesn’t say anything about wiretapping or bugging the offices as indicated by some Leftmedia types all too thrilled to report on O'Keefe’s arrest. Their attorney claims they were just trying to catch Landrieu’s staff on video ignoring phone calls from constituents angry about her vote on health care.

Regardless of the outcome of the ACORN civil case, the criminal charges against O'Keefe and company for their actions in a federal building show there are some tactics which enterprising journalists would be well-advised to avoid. Asking tough questions is one thing, but this lame stunt shows that the ends don’t justify the means.

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