BREAKING: ‘Pimp’ From ACORN Sting Videos Arrested By FBI For Wiretapping Senator’s Phone


[Illustration by ALEX FINE]

ASSOCIATED PRESS: A conservative activist who posed as a pimp to target the community-organizing group ACORN and the son of a federal prosecutor were among four people arrested by the FBI and accused of trying to interfere with phones at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. Activist James O’Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office said Tuesday. Letten says O’Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone. Flanagan, the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport, and Basel asked for access to a phone at the reception desk. Then they asked for access to a phone closet so they could work on the phone system. The men were directed to another office in the building, where they again said they were telephone repairmen. They were arrested later by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. MORE


MAIN JUSTICE: Flanagan and an accomplice said that they were repair technicians from the telephone company and were there to fix problems with the phone system, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent. A witness said they were wearing white, hard construction hats, a tool belt, a fluorescent vest and denim pants and tops. O’Keefe was stationed inside of the reception area and was holding a phone to record Flanagan and Basel talking Landrieu staffers. They manipulated the telephone system at the reception desk and then went to another office in the building to access the main telephone system. They told government employees that they left their credentials in the vehicle. MORE


NEW YORK TIMES: A federal law enforcement official said one of the suspects was picked up in a car a couple of blocks away with a listening device that could pick up transmissions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not part of the FBI affidavit. Another official said Stan Dai was the suspect arrested outside. […] Dai is a former assistant director of a program at Trinity Washington University that taught students about careers in intelligence, university president Patricia McGuire said. It was part of a national effort to interest students at liberal arts colleges in careers in intelligence but did not teach spy craft, she said. He was listed as a ”freelance consultant” in a Junior Statesmen program at the Central Intelligence Agency where he appeared as a speaker. MORE

FBI: If convicted, FLANAGAN, BASEL, O’KEEFE, and DAI each face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. MORE

ASSOCIATED PRESS: The AP reports that a magistrate “set bond at $10,000 each after they made their initial court appearances wearing red prison jumpsuits. None of the defendants commented on the allegations in court. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: O’Keefe said only ”Veritas,” Latin for truth, as he left jail Tuesday with Dai and Basel. All declined to comment. As he got into a cab outside, O’Keefe said, ”The truth shall set me free.” MORE

JAMES O’KEEFE III: I am a journalist. The truth shall set me free. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: Mr. O’Keefe had been in New Orleans last Thursday to give a speech for the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a libertarian


research organization. The topic of the speech was “Exposing Truth: Undercover Video, New Media and Creativity.” MORE

POLITICO: Michael Madigan, O’Keefe’s lawyer, told POLITICO Tuesday afternoon that he was still unclear exactly what happened at the senator’s office. “I don’t know the facts yet of what exactly happened, but at heart James O’Keefe is a good kid,” said Madigan, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer who served as counsel to Sen. Howard Baker during the Watergate investigation and helped run former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson’s investigation of the Clinton administration. MORE

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: “The last time Mr. O’Keefe was in the news, Republicans broke land speed records to praise him as an American hero and fell all over themselves to out-do one another in expressing disgust, outrage and indignation at what he brought to light.  Yet today, in light of these deplorable and illegal attacks on the office of a United States Senator by their champion, Republicans have not offered a single iota of disgust, a whisper of indignation or even a hint of outrage.  The silence by Republicans in the face of these criminal acts by one their own speaks louder than then their wails of outrage ever did,” said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.

ACORN: ”Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving soul.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Why The Right Hates ACORN, How They Took Them Down, And Why Philly Didn’t Take The Bait

PREVIOUSLY: The Nutcracker Strikes Back!


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT HE SAID: Cracking The Nutcracker

PREVIOUSLY: Q&A: With ACORN Founder Wade Rathke


PREVIOUSLY: Harshbarger Report Clears ACORN Of Illegality In ‘Pimp & Hooker’ Gotcha Videos

PREVIOUSLY: Fox News’ Chris Wallace Names James O’Keefe ‘Power Player Of The Week’

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