James O’Keefe Arrest Update

We have an update this morning on the arrest of conservative activist James O’Keefe–apparently O’Keefe & co. weren’t trying to wiretap Sen. Landrieu’s phones.  the Times-Picayune is reporting that they’re being charged with ‘entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.’

Still, a crime is a crime and a felony is a felony.  But I expect that the right will complain about the allegations of wiretapping in order to draw attention away from the fact that O’Keefe and his friends quite possibly broke a number of federal laws.

The question is, though, if they weren’t trying to wiretap the Senator’s phones what exactly were they doing?

MSNBC’s First Read brings us this:

A law enforcement official says the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls.

Instead, the official says, the men, led by conservative videomaker James O’Keefe, wanted to see how her local office staff would respond if the phones were inoperative. They were apparently motivated, the official says, by criticism that when Sen. Landrieu became a big player in the health care debate, people in Louisiana were having a hard time getting through on the phones to register their views.

That is, the official says, what led the four men to pull this stunt — to see how the local staffers would react if the phones went out. Would the staff just laugh it off, or would they express great concern that local folks couldn’t get through?

[All emphasis mine]

So, James O’Keefe & co. quite possibly violated a number of federal laws so they could…break Sen. Landrieu’s phones to see what would happen.

Well, I certainly hope it was worth it…

And this is the guy who’s supposed to be the future of conservative journalism? Are you kidding?

UPDATE: And now some on the right are trying to brush this off as a prank.

Uh, no. ‘Entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony‘ is not a prank–felonies aren’t pranks.

And you know that if a group of progressives had done the same thing to a Republican Senator no conservative would accept ‘it was a prank’ as a defense.

The right’s golden boy caught quite possibly breaking federal laws (and for a pretty stupid reason to boot). Maybe they should stop trying to spin this away and just own up to the fact that James O’Keefe isn’t exactly the sterling anti-corruption crusader they made him out to be.

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