“Govt official concedes no attempt to wiretap,” O’Keefe Tweeted a half-hour before midnight.
Wednesday afternoon, NBC News reported that the judge had instructed O’Keefe not to talk about the case.
Contacted by RAW STORY, Professor Jonathan Turley, a nationally recognized legal expert, concurred, “It could indeed violate an order. It is extremely unwise for clients to be tweeting on their case even without such an order. Mr. O’Keefe has a record of reckless conduct and this would certainly add to that record.”
The rabid Right, perennially blind to the moral and legal concept, that any member of the conservative elite could be held accountable for their crimes is furiously waving their little fig leaf – conspirators not charged with phone tapping. That is true and probably the result of Senator Landrieu’s office staff calling the authorities so quickly. If if that was not their mission – O’Keefe, Dai, Basel and Flanagan are still on the hook for appearing to commit a couple of federal crimes. 1) They represented themselves as telephone company employees. That is a crime. 2) under guise of their false identities they requested access to an office phone on the pretense of checking to see if it worked. It is general practice in one’s home or office not to allow anyone but authorized personnel access to one’s phones for obvious reasons of personal and corporate security. Impersonating someone who has the authority to do so is thus a crime. 3) Basel and Flanagan asked for access to the main telephone closet in continuation of the pretext they were trained and authorized technicians from the phone company. There might be some plausibility to the prank angle had they stopped at using one phone, but access to the interior phone terminals nullifies that angle – which would still find them violated federal laws against illegal access to federal premises and impersonation. 4) Basel and Flanagan confessed they entered the building under false pretenses or per the FBI affidavit “Flanagan and Basel used false and fraudulent pretense attempted to enter, and in fact did enter, real property belonging to the United States for the purpose of willfully and maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States of America”. 5) There were four of them, plus some possible cohorts with knowledge of said crime, so add conspiracy to commit a felony. As of today phone tapping seems to be off the table. That does not matter in the sense that it does not relieve the TamperGate crew facing other serious charges. Legal analyst Jonathan Turley
They have been charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony. However, that is likely only the first charge. There are a host of additional charges, particularly if the prosecutor support the widespread speculation of an alleged conspiracy to wiretap the office of a federal official. It is not clear if the authorities confirmed an effort to wiretap or found such equipment — as opposed to another prank-like video. Moreover, I would expect other possible arrests. Usually there are other individuals with knowledge of such a boneheaded plan. As for Flannagan’s father, he is in Shreveport and thus not necessarily involved in any official capacity. Obviously, he will be insulated from any role in any investigation under standard procedures for conflicts.
Would conservative ideologues such as Patterico , Andrew Brietbart and The Jawa Report be writing this episode off if four Muslim men had done the same thing to a rightwing Senator’s office. Of course not.
Here is Andrew Breitbart ( O’Keefe is on his payroll) losing it in an interview. Andrew still cannot admit or stand the idea that ACORN has been vindicated and with that vindication further proof that James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles are not journalists, but simply corrupt conservative media hogs. Giles, thus far, does not seem to be part of Tampergate, but O’Keefe with this latest crime has established a pattern of felonious behavior. And of course with each act the conservative peanut gallery has tried to help obfuscate the facts and create a narrative at odd with those facts. Trying to portray a 24 year old as a naïve prankster – which also undermines that the right’s version of the ACORN story – is an eye roller. When can we be allowed to take O’Keefe and Big Government seriously as journalists? The first and last Thursday of the month or just when its convenient.
Since they have not been charged with wiretapping or attempting to wiretap corrections should be made for the record in the couple of newspapers that initially got that part of the story wrong. Though there is a caveat in that regard. If, as O’Keefe claims, they just wanted to see if the phones worked properly, what knowledge could they have gained in that regard by entering the main telephone closet.
It did not get much media attention for some reason from the librul media, but conservatives called on rightwingers to jam Democrat Martha Coakley’s phone bank, RedState trying to jam Coakley phone banks! So Brown won, but he won dirty. Manipulating/ jamming phones and phone banks of their opponents is a well known tactic in the conservative dirty tricks playbook, Conyers Pushes for Answers on Phone Jamming Cover-Up
Charles McGee, then the executive director of the New Hampshire GOP, was the one who had the genius idea of jamming Democratic phone lines. He called Jim Tobin, the New England Regional Director of the Republican National Committee, to ask for help implementing it. Tobin then called Raymond, whom he knew from working on the 2000 Steve Forbes campaign and who ran a telemarketing consulting firm, to see if he could do the job. Raymond said he could, and things went on from there.