By Mark Memmott

More details are emerging about the arrest in New Orleans of conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe and three other men who allegedly lied their way into the local office of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and then -- in FBI speak -- "willfully and maliciously" tried to interfere with the lawmaker's telephone system.

According to an affidavit signed by FBI special agent Steven Rayes, two of the men "have admitted to federal agents that they were not telephone repairmen (as witnesses say they claimed) and that they entered the offices of Senator Landrieu under false pretenses." O'Keefe and the fourth man, according to the affidavit, "have also admitted to federal agents that (they) worked with ... (the others) in the planning, coordination and preparation of the operation."

The Associated Press has filed this video report on the story:

On Morning Edition, guest host Ari Shapiro talked with reporter Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO about the case. She says one of the other men is the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in western Louisiana, and that after his release yesterday O'Keefe vowed that "the truth shall set me free":

O'Keefe is famous -- or "infamous", depending on your politics -- for the undercover videos he produced last year that showed employees of the community organizing group ACORN agreeing, among other things, to help a "pimp" and "prostitute" find a way to buy a house.

The news of his arrest prompted this message from ACORN on its Twitter page:

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving soul.

All this makes us wonder:

We'll hold the question open for 24 hours.


categories: Crime, Politics

8:00 - January 27, 2010