Patterico's Pontifications

5/27/2010

Exclusive: Judge Orders Potentially Exculpatory Evidence in O’Keefe Case to Be Destroyed

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe — Patterico @ 7:01 am

I find this disturbing on several levels.

Recall the background: James O’Keefe surreptitiously taped himself and two companions in Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. He has maintained from the beginning that he was engaged in undercover journalism, attempting to expose whether Landrieu actually had a problem with her phones that would explain why constituents received busy signals when they called about her position on ObamaCare. The government, by contrast, charged O’Keefe with intending to commit a felony, suggesting that the behavior of O’Keefe and his companions showed that they intended to do something nefarious and felonious inside the office.

Ultimately, the government apparently could not prove its case, and yesterday gave O’Keefe a misdemeanor — presumably because they lacked proof of this felonious intent.

I have said from the beginning that viewing the tape would shed light on this. After all, O’Keefe was making an undercover tape. It has all the evidence on it. That tape would reveal whether O’Keefe is telling the truth.

And now the judge has ordered that potentially exculpatory evidence destroyed.

I contacted O’Keefe last night to ask when we could expect to see this tape. He told me that he wanted the tape back, but that the judge had said in open court that he wanted it destroyed, and instructed federal agents to destroy the evidence before returning the camera to O’Keefe.

I find this astounding — first, that O’Keefe got this far in the proceedings without the government disclosing the key evidence in the case to him and his attorney, and second, that the evidence will now be destroyed.

Why destroy it? To my knowledge, O’Keefe and his companions never accessed any part of the office that was not open to the public. They did not receive any sensitive information regarding Sen. Landrieu’s phone lines that would be useful to a terrorist.

And if O’Keefe is telling the truth, the tape would exonerate him in the public eye.

O’Keefe wants the tape back. The judge told the government not to let him have it.

What does that tell you?

201 Responses to “Exclusive: Judge Orders Potentially Exculpatory Evidence in O’Keefe Case to Be Destroyed”

  1. I tells me that the odds of this judge being a Clinton appointee are approximately 1:1

    SicSemperTyrannus (e86321)

  2. Why did O’Keefe plead guilty before he got it back? The prosecutor had an obligation to turn it over. There should be a summary, at the very least, of that tape in the discovery shouldn’t there?

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  3. I = It
    PIMF

    SicSemperTyrannus (6797b5)

  4. Nothing to see here. Move along

    Frank Drebbin (8096f2)

  5. I would expect this to be part of the plea outcome. By pleading to the misdemeanor he admitted that whatever was on the tape was obtained in violation of law. By the prosecutor agreeing to drop the more serious charges they made whatever exculpatory value the tape might have moot.

    To me this seems to fall well inside a person not being able to profit from their own bad act.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  6. If this is true, he made a tactical mistake. I would think Brietbart would know enough to advise him on this but maybe O’Keefe just wanted it to be over.

    Mike K (67e8ce)

  7. What legal basis is the judge offering for refusing to return O’Keefe’s property to him? Is he claiming it’s the fruit of a crime, that it reveals government secrets, what?

    Soronel… you’re completely wrong. First, O’Keefe’s plea means no such thing. The plea is potentially justified based strictly on the attempt to enter the wiring closet, which would mean that everything they did (and filmed) beforehand was completely legal.

    Second, even footage of the secured areas cannot be so cavalierly destroyed. If it’s evidence of a crime, it certainly should never be destroyed, yes? Sealed away, perhaps, but not destroyed. Moreover, under copyright law, if I trespass on somebody property and take a picture, I still own the copyright to that picture, even if I am prosecuted for the trespass. The intellectual property right to the picture remains MINE, regardless of how I obtained it. I might be curtailed in how I myself am allowed to use it, but the copyright is still mine.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  8. It tells me that the fix was in. He pleads guilty to a misdemeanor–without having been allowed to learn that exculpatory evidence was in the hands of the gubmint, they tease him with its existence after the plea–and then destroy it. See, no problemo, he’s “guilty” and this little mess is cleaned up.

    Reminds me of an appearance before a federal magistrate in Yuma some years ago; I knew my clients were in for a hard slog when the gubmint witness strolls in and the magistrate says “Hi Tom, how are the wife and kids?”

    Mike Myers (3c9845)

  9. PatHMV,

    If the plea was to entering the building under false pretenses wouldn’t the point at which he passed the exterior door rather than any particular office be that cutoff point?

    As for copyright (1) it can be ordered extinguished, (2) I am not aware of copyright protecting a rights holder against destruction of covered materials.

    He should feel fortunate to even get the camera back as it was removed from his person after being arrested inside the building.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  10. I think I agree with Soronel Haetir.

    That tape is economically valuable to O’Keefe. Patterico normally does not support criminals profiting from their crimes.

    tomhynes (28a6f3)

  11. tomhynes – So you are in favor of Mary Landrieu losing all benefits and emoluments of office?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  12. OT – (But don’t know where to send tip.)
    8o year old veteren in Chicago goes all Texas on armed intruder.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/26/year-old-chicago-man-kills-armed-home-invader/?test=latestnews

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  13. So this Masiello person, was only able to eke out one or two minor pleas, I thought this was the second coming of Thomas Dewey, (sarc)

    ian cormac (9e7f6f)

  14. “He should feel fortunate to even get the camera back as it was removed from his person after being arrested inside the building.”

    Soronel – Is prevention of embarrassment a valid reason for the confiscation and destruction of private property by the government? Since there was no wiretapping or recording charge, what does O’Keefe’s cell phone have to do with his guilty plea and the charges contained therein?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  15. Actually, the Bill of Information to which O’Keefe pleaded guilty says that he “did, by false pretenses enter and attempt to enter real property belonging to the United States.”

    In indictments and bills of information, that “and” has a different meaning than in every day language. It’s the language the government must use to say: “he did one or the other or both of these things.” So O’Keefe did not necessarily admit to entering the entire building under false pretenses, he could have been admitting to attempting to enter the phone closet under false pretenses.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  16. Fortunate to receive his personal property back, Soronel? Do you think that being arrested for a crime entitles the government to permanently confiscate all of the personal property you had on your person at the time of the arrest? If he had $50 in his wallet when he was arrested, should he feel “fortunate” to get that back as well?

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  17. Also, even if it is legitimate (and I don’t think it is, in this set of facts) to prohibit O’Keefe from profiting from this tape, that is easily enough taken care of with an order that he turn over to the court all proceeds he receives from any sale or licensing of the tape.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  18. OT – (But don’t know where to send tip.)
    Comment by Have Blue — 5/27/2010 @ 8:33 am

    We have an email for that now. It’s patterico.tips@gmail.com for future tips. Thanks.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  19. “What does that tell you?”

    Tells me that the people in government want to keep what they do covered by a veil of secrecy.

    Dave Surls (146ee8)

  20. PatHMV,

    Son of Sam type laws where the perpetrator must turn over proceeds first and then maybe get it back if no claimant comes forward have been ruled unconstitutional. Destroying the material such profit could be made from in the first place seems like an entirely reasonable next step.

    You seem to be trying mighty hard here to protect an admitted criminal’s ability to profit from his illegal act.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  21. It’s not about profiting, it’s about explaining the situation, isn’t most of the stuff on Big Government
    free

    ian cormac (9e7f6f)

  22. Comment by ian cormac — 5/27/2010 @ 9:36 am

    Monetary gain is not the only type of profit that is possible.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  23. Seems to me that O’Keefe’s 1st amendment rights are being violated in the same way that New York Times counsel James Goodale argued in the Pentagon Papers case that the press had a first amendment right to publish information significant to the people’s understanding of their government’s policy.
    Of course, in that case it was the left that had broken the law to publish information that embarrassed the opposition. The laws clearly have a different meaning if they are to be applied to those on the right.

    wright (8a7bfe)

  24. this story, and some of the responses here, tells me that the corrupt Obama regime and its legions of mindless thugs will stoop to any level of criminality and/or sophistry to defend their illegal oppression of American citizen’s fighting for their freedom from it.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  25. Hey do you think it was a setup from the start?

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  26. Soronel… can you give me any other example of a court ordering the destruction of an existing video tape, either on the grounds that it was filmed illegally or on the grounds that doing so is necessary to prevent the criminal from profiting from his actions?

    I’m not “trying mighty hard to protect a criminal’s ability to profit from his illegal act,” I’m seeking to apply the law, impartially, to everybody. I’m not aware of any similar order. I’ve seen order for the destruction of items that were themselves contraband or were properly and lawfully seized from the person who possessed the item unlawfully… drugs, obscene pornography, and the occasional gun used in a crime. But I’ve never heard of a judge ordering a video tape such as this one destroyed.

    Can you give me an example, a precedent? Or do you just think it’s appropriate because you don’t like O’Keefe?

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  27. Suppose an amateur journalist had entered the Nixon White House under “false pretenses” in an effort to obtain audio taped evidence concerning the cause of the mysterious “18-minute gap” in the Nixon tapes. This individual and his cohorts are apprehended and found guilty of a misdemeanor. Do you believe the mainstream media would remain silent if the judge in the case ordered the journalist’s audio tape evidence destroyed rather than revealed?

    navyvet (206534)

  28. I would think that he would seek an injunction to prevent the destruction while he appealed.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  29. PatHMV – There was a case here in CT where a scumbag high school student threw a pool party for his friends and set up a hidden video camera in the room he had his female guests change in. I do believe that in this case the judge ordered the tape and all copies destroyed. (Don’t know if a copy was kept for permanent evidence purposes.) They certainly did not return any to the perp.
    I got peripherally involved years later when the perp got out of prison and he and his family began harassing the primary victim, the young lady whose family had pressured the CT authorities to pursue the case originally.

    (Oh, by the way before anyone misunderstands – I am not saying that these two cases are in ANY way similar past the fact that both involve video footage.)

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  30. This just tells the average observer who mistrusts government
    (what was that latest Rasmussen poll…70% or so do not trust govt to do the right thing)
    that the charges were bogus, and the tape would prove it so.
    Just another exercise in CYA!

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  31. PatHMV,

    Not real helpful, but I did find this on camera seizure:
    http://carlosmiller.com/2009/01/21/do-police-have-the-right-to-confiscate-your-camera/

    The crime in this case is certainly not as severe as those mentioned but I don’t think the severity really comes into play. The taping was certainly part of the commission of this act. And once seized I don’t think the nature of the material has much relevance it would simply go through whatever normal evidence destruction flow the court uses.Everything I’ve found where the photographer was protected the photographer was not themselves acting criminally. That is not the case here. I doubt you could even make a good argument that they didn’t think what they were doing was criminal, they just hoped to not get caught.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  32. What it tells me is that whatever O’Keefe found on that tape was, in the eyes of the federal government, important to destroy, and in the eyes of O’Keefe, important to reveal.

    I think it’s likely that someone was tampering with the phones, and that person is powerful in New Orleans so all the other powerful people in New Orleans are going to cover that up and attempt to claim the person thwarting that crime, O’Keefe, was actually committing that crime.

    Remember what the investigators were claiming on the day of the arrest: all kinds of insinuations that were flat out lies. Why is our government behaving this way?

    O’keefe has a laptop taken, and it had privileged attorney client communications. I know that because the federal government selectively leaked that to the press. I agree with those who question O’Keefe’s tactics, but the actual criminals here are collecting salaries from my tax dollars. I hope some Committee Chairman hauls that judge before an investigative panel and demands to know what was on this tape.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. If he had $50 in his wallet when he was arrested, should he feel “fortunate” to get that back as well?

    No but the $50 wasn’t obtained illegally.

    Sam (51740b)

  34. slip sliding anyway, slip sliding away…

    Our freedom and our legal protections are just slip sliding away. We should just be grateful to our minders.

    /OT Did anyone hear the outcry from the MSM and liberal protectors of all things private that under the financial reform act the feds will collect and store detailed data on every retail credit card transaction? So, THAT’s how we’re gonna protect the global financial system! I was wondering what the key to that would be.

    I guess the computer systems being built to hold all our personal medical histories had some left over space – this administration is keen on never letting federal data storage go to waste.

    in_awe (44fed5)

  35. It tells me that O’Keefe has tape that is embarassing to the Senator. If the ‘sting’ was to expose a cavalier attitude towards answering constituent phone calls there would likely be some preliminary conversations where O’Keefe’s group tried to dig out a confession of sorts. At that point the staff ‘smells a rat’ and calls the police. But what did they say before calling the police? Isn’t it that point where the staff likely concluded they had said too much?

    East Bay Jay (2fd7f7)

  36. From the affidavit:

    6) BASEL requested to be given access to a telephone in the office, and WITNESS 1 allowed him access to the main telephone at the reception desk. WITNESS 1 observed BASEL take the handset of the phone and manipulate it…

    Yeah, they totally didn’t access the phone system. Oh wait, they actually did, didn’t they?

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  37. Ummmm, using a phone (picking up the headset and dialing a number) isn’t really a crime, now, is it? It wasn’t a public phone but BASEL got permission from WITNESS 1 per your cut/paste. So people should be jailed if they ask to use someone’s phone and they say yes?

    Is that really the best you got? Using a phone = wiretapping?

    East Bay Jay (2fd7f7)

  38. Sam… neither was the camera. But Soronel said he should consider himself “fortunate” to get the camera itself back.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  39. from the affidavit:

    10) Subsequently, FLANAGAN and BASEL have admitted to federal agents that they were not telephone repairmen and that they entered the office of Senator Landrieu under false pretenses. O’KEEFE and DAI have also admitted to federal agents that worked with FLANAGAN AND BASEL in the planning, coordination, and preparation of the operation. O’KEEFE further admitted to recording FLANAGAN and BASEL inside of Senator Landrieu’s office.

    So apparently they were inside the office.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  40. Do you dial with the handset on that type of phone? No, you do not. It was a multi-line office phone system at the reception desk. Try again.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  41. So you’re saying that the ‘crime’ is he was given permission to use the phone and used it to eavesdrop on somebody? To what end? Please enlighten me as to O’Keefe’s intent because it’s eluding me. Hack into the Pentagon? Launch a nuclear weapon? ‘Steal’ a long distance call? It seems more like your ‘Rove Frog March’ fantasies have just been re-focused on a new perp.

    East Bay Jay (2fd7f7)

  42. Hey, look, everyone! Hooten has discovered what everybody else knew from DAY 1.

    Icy Texan (6d8c35)

  43. “Yeah, they totally didn’t access the phone system. Oh wait, they actually did, didn’t they?

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 11:59 am ”

    So? That’s not tampering. That’s not a crime. Guess what, NOT GUILTY. for a reason. It’s obvious the feds wanted to throw the book at O’Keefe and simply had absolutely nothing on him.

    he was a journalist who wanted to expose that the Senator tampered with the phones, which I believe she did. He can’t do that without calling the phones and seeing if they work.

    Yes, “accessing” the phones. But that’s not wrong. It’s disgusting that so-called liberals such as bradblog’s would twist justice around just because of a (D) or an (R). If 20/20 had gone undercover to show that Tom Delay had tampered with his phones and lied to the voters about this, I know those people would applaud it as journalism.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  44. Every day Senator Landrieu comes to that office it is expected that she represent her constituents, and serve the United States of America. What is her excuse for entering under false pretenses?

    TimesDisliker (3959f0)

  45. i am amazed at the depth of detailed knowledge Chris has regarding the exact type and features of the phones in use at the Senator’s office in New Orleans….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  46. Soronel… kindly identify the specific provision of federal law which authorizes the judge to take and destroy James O’Keefe’s personal property, the video tape. Destruction of personal property carried on one’s person during the commission of the offense is not set forth as a potential punishment for violating 18 USC 1036, which is punishable by: “a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both…”

    The federal “Son of Sam” law is at: 18 USC 3681. Has there been a motion by the prosecutor pursuant to that provision of law? Does that statute authorize the destruction of the movie depiction of the crime, or merely prohibit the defendant from receiving the profits from such? (here’s a hint: the former would probably violate the First Amendment).

    Law, people. It’s actually written down out there, and anybody can look it up. The courts aren’t entitled to just make up rules out of thin air, mostly.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  47. actually, i take that back: he’s just making sh1t up as he goes.

    typical lieberal.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  48. That (D) next to her name, unfortunately.

    Icy Texan (6d8c35)

  49. If he had $50 in his wallet when he was arrested, should he feel “fortunate” to get that back as well?

    No but the $50 wasn’t obtained illegally.

    Was the tape obtained illegally? It’s pathetic but predictable to see the left defending the states behavior in this case.

    Subotai (b86117)

  50. The courts aren’t entitled to just make up rules out of thin air, mostly.

    – Exceptions: the SC of CA, the Ninth Circus, the SCOTUS in the case of Roe v Wade.

    Icy Texan (6d8c35)

  51. Like someone at another blog said, what do you think would have happened if this was 4 Muslim men going into a Republican Senator’s office under false pretenses? Do you think they would get the same sweetheart treatment? Don’t make me laugh.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  52. Like someone at another blog said, what do you think would have happened if this was 4 Muslim men going into a Republican Senator’s office under false pretenses?

    What about four Black Panthers?

    PS, “like someone at another blog said” is a brand new type of logical fallacy. Congratulations.

    Subotai (b86117)

  53. Arianna should change the name: HUFF PO — Another Blog

    Oh, and please note how *yawn* the hoot-owl has once again brought race into an issue that has nothing to do with race. Nice.

    Icy Texan (6d8c35)

  54. Oh, I’m sorry; I meant to type “religious affiliation”. It’s Chris that equates ‘Muslim’ with race.

    Icy Texan (6d8c35)

  55. Welcome to “justice” in the brave new world of the People’s Democratic Republic of the United States, brought to you by every left-wing politician in the 20th century. As the lady said, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Wait until the Supreme Court is packed and tilted even farther left.

    Misterbee (d92847)

  56. Comment by PatHMV — 5/27/2010 @ 12:21 pm

    Laws? LAWS???
    We don’t need no stinking laws!

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  57. wait, I’m confused, since he’s no longer charged with a felony, there’s nothing to exculpate him from, since the misdimeanor charge, as I understand it, doesn’t hinge on motive- and anyway he pled guilty.

    And as for O’Keefe getting the tape back, given that the tape was produced via what is now officially a misdemeanor (to which, again O’Keefe pled guilty), is it typical for the court to return a product generated by the misdemeanor to the person who committed the misdemeanor?

    Mike (038a09)

  58. Like someone at another blog said, what do you think would have happened if this was 4 Muslim men going into a Republican Senator’s office under false pretenses?

    Nice strawmen you got there, Chrissy’s Hooter.

    Yeah, they totally didn’t access the phone system. Oh wait, they actually did, didn’t they?

    I must have missed the part where they were convicted of tampering. Please point that section out to me.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  59. Obviously, they manipulated the handset, right in front of the WITNESS 1. Multiline office phones have normal handsets, so they are not too heavy for the receptionists. You can’t dial with the handset. So what was he doing to the phone? They tried dialing the office phone from a couple of cellular phones. It says nothing of dialing on the office phone, or using the phone, it says “…take the handset of the phone and manipulate it…”

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  60. Manipulate here means handled. They picked up the handset in their hands.

    What do you think manipulated means here? Do you think they used sophistry to force it to do something against its judgement?

    Maybe they introduced a phone tapping device Chris! I’m sure the LEOs investigated that possibility, but you’re much more capable than some lowly police tech. You should examine the phone Chris. I’m sure you will find what the investigators didn’t.

    bonhomme (d737be)

  61. Obviously, they manipulated the handset, right in front of the WITNESS 1.

    Then you need to address your complaints to the courts, because they disagreed with you there.

    Subotai (b86117)

  62. Patterico, I imagine the destruction of the tape was part of the plea deal.
    nola

    The judge repeatedly told the defendants that, as journalists, they needed to learn “where to draw a line” in their investigative methods.

    Breitbart and O’Keefe are just trying to whip you into a righteous lather and imply there was actual evidence of wrongdoing captured as data on the tape.
    I don’t understand why you are defending these scumbags.

    wheeler's cat (ed4ec5)

  63. “Not real helpful, but I did find this on camera seizure…
    The crime in this case is certainly not as severe as those mentioned but I don’t think the severity really comes into play. The taping was certainly part of the commission of this act. ”

    Comment by Soronel Haetir — 5/27/2010 @ 11:07 am

    So they could keep his camera even for a misdemeanor, and you think this is ok as it was used in commission of a crime. Interesting legal precedent.

    Ever been pulled over for speeding? Did they confiscate your car and keep it? Why not? It was used in the commission of a misdemeanor; why is that different?

    Gekkobear (25ea0f)

  64. Speeding is not a misdemeanor, it is an “infraction”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  65. My only point is that they did enter the actual office, and they did, in fact, have access to the phone system, and they did something with it. I have seen far too many claims that they were just in the reception area or they never messed with the phone system.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  66. “Obviously, they manipulated the handset”

    Oh my God.

    Probably one of the most nefarious deeds in United States history.

    No doubt this explains why the government is pissing away time and money on this hogwash when they could be, oh I don’t know, chasing down terrorists or something.

    Dave Surls (146ee8)

  67. be honest for once Chris: had this been 4 muslims, they most likely would have never been arrested, but IF they had, you and every other dishonest, dissembling leftist in the country would have been screaming for their release, holding protests in their support and supporting CAIR in both their legal defense and a lawsuit seeking damages for “harassment” and/or “discrimination”.

    the blatant hypocrisy of your kind is breathtaking in its gall.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  68. CH…They were in the reception area of the Senator’s suite of offices, and it was the handset of the receptionist that they are accussed of “manipulating”.

    “...Probably one of the most nefarious deeds in United States history…”

    Ranks right up there with Rosemary Woods’ missing minutes of tape, and JFK’s rousting out of bed the leaders of several steel-companies to answer the FBI’s questions of price-fixing…YMMV!

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  69. AD… depends on the jurisdiction. In my state, speeding is technically punishable by both a fine and imprisonment. That’s a misdemeanor.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  70. Well, in CA you can’t even get a jury trial for a traffic ticket anymore…but, if they tack on DUI, or if your speeding is IIRC 26mph over the posted limit, that’s “reckless driving” and a misdemeanor.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  71. Chris, not that you care, but let me spell out some the significant legal issues involved here.

    When knowledgeable folks point out that O’Keefe never gained access to the “phone system,” they are talking about the restricted access utility room where the wires and controllers for the building phone system were located. They attempted to gain access to that restricted area, but were busted before actually being granted access.

    The bill of information does not specifically assert that the misdemeanor offense of entering or attempting to enter under false pretenses was based on their entering Sen. Landrieu’s office, which was at the time open to the general public to come into the reception area without an appointment or anything. It is entirely consistent with the bill of information that the actual illegal act was attempting to enter the utility room, to which access was restricted, under false pretenses.

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  72. This is all a joke. Who here is going to stand up and say that they think what these guys did was anything other than a terrible idea with very few possible positive outcomes? With that kind of decision making skills, I would be surprised if they actually make it through the 3 years probation without another legal “incident.” You can praise O’Keefe and Co. all you want, but mark my words, you will be bitten on the @ss by them some day because of their poor judgement and childish amateurism.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  73. Knowledgeable folks DON’T SAY THAT. They DID access the phone system. Knowledgeable folks would say that they didn’t gain access to the phone utility room.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  74. Well, reality must be sinking into that abcess that passes for Chris’ cranial matter, as now it is our fault for what has transpired.
    Chris, I would think you would be surprised by the Sun coming up in the morning if you could ever look out the windows of your basement redoubt.

    “…you will be bitten on the @ss by them some day because of their poor judgement and childish amateurism.”

    Truer words have never been spoken about the Omama Administration.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  75. Proof of actual innocence, no more, no less; and a convincing demonstration of a corrupt judicial system, too.

    htom (412a17)

  76. Can’t you even come up with your own insults for Obama? Sheesh.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  77. On its face it seems nefarious. OTOH, is it possible that the judge simply doesn’t want O’Keefe to profit from his criminal wrongdoing? It would seem to me an injunction against the release of the tape would be in order, but this works as well.

    Makewi (0864f9)

  78. It is judicial over-reach! The judge has presented no grounds for suppression/confiscation/destruction of the tape.

    “Can’t you even come up with your own insults for Obama?”
    Painful, isn’t it, having your own words used against your interests.
    Perhaps in the future, you might want to moderated your rhetoric.
    Oh, but that would put your membership in the ProgLeft at jeopardy, wouldn’t it?

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  79. Chris, who in the hell here has been defending their decision making? We’ve been discussing the LEGAL implications of their actions.

    Have you ever in your life described making a phone call by saying that you “accessed the phone system”? “Yes, dear, today I accessed the phone system and connected to the phone number assigned to our youngest child, away in college.” Seriously?

    PatHMV (140f2a)

  80. “I know you are, but what am I?”

    -AD-RtR/OS
    How clever of you, AD. How did you ever come up with that?

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  81. Wanted: Sharp eyed and hard nosed inquisitors on the scent of crime in high government office are invited to examine the Sestak bribe scandal. Reward for evidence leading directly to arrest and conviction. Commission only, percentage negotiable. Equal Opportunity, Diversity friendly.

    ropelight (9df278)

  82. This is all a joke. Who here is going to stand up and say that they think what these guys did was anything other than a terrible idea with very few possible positive outcomes?

    That all depends on your idea of a positive outcome. You don’t think that embarassing a Dem Senator is a good outcome. I do.

    Subotai (b86117)

  83. You can’t make a phone call with the handset of an office phone. You have to use the base unit. They obtained access to the phone, and hence, the phone system. The word “access” does not denote anything other than they physically touched at least one phone. “The phone system” does not describe a phone utility closet, it is a generic term for any hardware associated with and including the telephone.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  84. Comment by Subotai — 5/27/2010 @ 2:53 pm

    Except they didn’t really manage that. Possibly minor embarrassment to the US Attorney’s office, but very minor and it will be forgotten with the next press release.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  85. O’Keefe probably caught Landrieu or a staff member on camera taking another bunch of payola from Wade Rathke or a confederate and the Judge just wants to prevent it from coming out.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  86. Is embarrassing a Dem Senator worth committing a crime for? You have an odd sense of morals.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  87. Chris – Do you work in the telecom business or are you making this crap up as you go?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  88. Chris – Is there a point or argument anywhere in the gibberish of all your comments that you are trying to make?

    Could you please attempt to summarize it for the benefit and amusement of the rest of us?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  89. PatHMV,

    For what it’s worth, here is the U.S.C for criminal forfeiture. I know he pled to a misdemeanor, which normally means it maxes out at one year imprisonment, but I don’t know for certain if that is the case for what he pled to. Certainly if a sentence of more than one year is allowed under law I would expect (2) of that to apply.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/21/usc_sec_21_00000853—-000-.html

    And once forfeited I would expect destruction rather than sale to be the normal course for material like a video tape. And (2) would also very much support my statement that he should feel lucky to get the camera back.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  90. Chris Hooten seems to forget how many Democrats have committed crimes in an attempt to “embarrass” Republican officials.

    Like Jim McDermott for starters.

    And the New York Times for middles.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  91. This is all a joke. Who here is going to stand up and say that they think what these guys did was anything other than a terrible idea with very few possible positive outcomes?

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 1:57 pm

    Peacefully exposing a government official — Dem OR Repub — who is possibly lying repeatedly to their angry constituents about whether they’re willing to hear input from same on a very hot issue — IS a VERY positive outcome, and definitely worth some effort. To some it might reasonably be worth a violation, or a misdemeanor. (Not sure if O’Keefe even knew it was a crime when he did it…?)

    Thousands upon thousands of people — including me BTW — have knowingly (and nonviolently) broken the law for a principle, been arrested and gone to jail – and took a misdemeanor on their record. Worth it, speaking for myself? Abso-freaking-lutely.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  92. Haven’t you ever seen an office phone? They don’t have number buttons on the handset. Why do you all assume he was making a call? It definitely doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say what “manipulate” means in this context, but nowhere does it suggest he was merely calling out on the phone. What were their intentions once they gained access to the phone utility room? They never got there, but I wonder what they were going to do in there. Nobody knows except them, and they lied several times during this incident, so taking them on their word is out of the question. My guess is that they were going to somehow disable the phone system, so they could then turn around and say, “See, I told you so…” Except they got caught.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  93. If their only intention was to see if the phone worked with incoming calls, they did that with two of their cell phones (as in the affidavit). They had no need to access the phone utility room.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  94. “but I don’t know for certain if that is the case for what he pled to.”

    Soronel – So you are basically admitting it was a complete asspull when you first made the comment about forfeitures above. Thanks.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  95. As a general rule, the instrumentalities and fruits of a crime are forfeited and if they are not returnable to a rightful owner are destroyed. Imagine a moonshine still and the whiskey. The destruction may be premature in case O’Keefe decides to move to vacate his guilty plea, but otherwise ….

    nk (db4a41)

  96. Chris – Do you have a point?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  97. Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 3:27 pm

    You’re forgetting two things.

    One, who came up with the term “manipulate,” and what possible reasons might that person/those people have to use a word that, let’s face it, is pretty nonspecific and could be construed to mean various things? Is it at all possible they wanted to blur what exactly the tresspassers were doing, and if at all possible, what motive might they have had to do that?

    Two, if they planned to disable the phone system, uninterrupted video would disabuse everyone of that idea that pretty quickly (or else expose them as saboteurs just as fast: “Look! The video keeps cutting away so you can’t see what they do in the closet right there, and there!”)

    James O’Keefe is already pretty well established as keeping unedited video/audio together for purposes of proving himself, since he already knows better than anyone else how much some people want to discredit his videos.

    Of course that may not be true in this case, since they want to destroy the whole video. Like others, I really wonder why that is.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  98. nk – How about a specific rule?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  99. poor Chris: i, for one, have w*rked in several different offices where the phones in use had buttons on the handset.

    so, now that i’ve proven you’re lying about that part of your posts, do you make any claims which are founded on facts, or are all your posts nothing but blather?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  100. My only point is that they did enter the actual office, and they did, in fact, have access to the phone system, and they did something with it

    No, the point you’ve been lamely attempting to make is that they tampered with the phone system, period. Just one problem – the court disagreed, so what other proof do you have of this charge?

    Haven’t you ever seen an office phone? They don’t have number buttons on the handset.

    This numbing repetition of non – existent points can only lead down one career path; welcome to Radio Shack, Chrissy.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  101. Look, it was O’Keefe and his buddies that were committing the crime, not the Senator or her office workers. Some of you are so conspiratorial. “What could be on that tape that is so damning they had to destroy it!” LOL.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  102. Except they didn’t really manage that. Possibly minor embarrassment to the US Attorney’s office, but very minor and it will be forgotten with the next press release.

    Yeah, when the judge has the back of government officials it is tough to embarass them. Stipulated. You keep on worshiping corrupt power, Haetir.

    Subotai (b86117)

  103. O’Keefe quoted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis with “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”.

    It is the judge in this case who is preventing light to be shed on this case…. So yeah. This is disturbing.

    Breitbartfan77 (6bd10f)

  104. As a general rule, the instrumentalities and fruits of a crime are forfeited and if they are not returnable to a rightful owner are destroyed.

    What crime?
    What instrumentalities?
    What fruits?

    Subotai (b86117)

  105. Chrissy was the blonde with big hooters on Three’s Company. Why do so many people here hate that show? BTW I never, ever said they tampered with the phone. I do believe they had the intention of tampering with the phone, but I never said they did, and there is no proof that they intended to. What do you think that they were going to do, dressed as telephone repair men? Fix the phone? I think not.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  106. Look, it was O’Keefe and his buddies that were committing the crime, not the Senator or her office workers. Some of you are so conspiratorial. “What could be on that tape that is so damning they had to destroy it!” LOL.

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 3:47 pm

    Straw man. WHY were O’Keefe and others committing the crime do you think, Mr. Hooten?

    Seriously. What were some possible motives?

    There are in fact divergent possibilities but if you think carefully, you’ll realize that the strong weight of the evidence is not toward a motive of tampering to disable, but proving enabled phone lines.

    IF that motive is true, what would such an unedited video be likely to show, do you think?

    “So damning?” No.
    EXTREMELY embarrassing to someone who claimed over and over that her phones weren’t working and therefore they couldn’t take any calls? Why, yes. Yes, it would be.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  107. “Look, it was O’Keefe and his buddies that were committing the crime, not the Senator or her office workers.”

    Wrong.

    If the Senator (and her intermediaries) tampered with the phones to prevent anyone calling in and told her state that they were able to call in, I think she is far more guilty than O’Keefe, who merely went undercover to thwart this crime.

    Of course, since the actual proof is being or has been destroyed, it’s going to be awful hard to convince the bradblog types. But anyone who is fair understands why it would be important to cover up the truth. Who wants you to see the tape? Not the New Orleans establishment. O’Keefe. Calling him the criminal is a cheap attempt to deny reality. His supposed crime was his attempt to gain the truth about corruption.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  108. Will Media Matters campaign for the judge to release O’Keefe’s video in Landreau’s office to show how felonious he was? Thought not.

    Breitbartfan77 (6bd10f)

  109. The democrats said this same shit about Rosa Parks and MLK. Just committing crimes. Stop concerning yourself with why they were going against the establishment, why evidence is being destroyed, why good people trying to get the truth are called criminals.

    Always, the enemies of the democrat party who commit civil disobedience of any kind are ‘criminal’ and we’re told to completely ignore them.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  110. Hew, Chris Hooten. Do you want to see the video O’Keefe shot at the office.
    Do you really? Do you?

    Breitbartfan77 (6bd10f)

  111. What do you think that they were going to do, dressed as telephone repair men? Fix the phone? I think not.

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 3:54 pm

    I could of course be totally wrong, but given the most-likely of possible motives (see my 3:56 post)I would think that if no one had caught them, they were going to gain access to the phone system closet, take video and audio showing all in order, “test the system” (and record this being done) by calling in to the office, prove the phone system was working, and leave.

    Again, I could be wrong. But at least this scenario makes sense. What would O’Keefe, who made his name embarrassing people by catching them in surreptitious lawbreaking or lies, have to gain from disabling the Senator’s phone system?

    no one you know (196ed7)

  112. Soronel, I quoted the penalty provision of the statute to which O’Keefe plead guilty above. It provides for no more than 6 months in prison. So the felony asset forfeiture statute does not apply.

    As for Chris Hooten’s continued attempts to claim that handling a telephone is the same as “accessing the phone system,” what the hell does it matter? O’Keefe did not plead guilty to anything involving the phone system, at all. He is not guilty of any crime relating to the phone system. If “accessing the phone system” under false pretenses were a felony and their was evidence to support that charge, you can be sure the prosecutors would have brought it. They didn’t, so the phone crap Chris is shoveling is just an Alinsky-esque attempt to distract from the real issues.

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  113. What crime?
    What instrumentalities?
    What fruits?

    (A) Entering a federal building under false pretenses.

    (B) The camera and physical tape.

    (C) Whatever images and sounds were recorded.

    I happen to think nearly all elected officials at all levels are criminals. I suspect the tape would show little more than a working phone system. Unfortunately I also think the sort of stunt engaged in by O’Keefe and friends along with the conspiracy theories put forward here do little to advance any improvement.

    You knowingly engage in criminal conduct, even for a good cause, you should be prepared to take the fall when it doesn’t work out. As far as that goes I do think O’Keefe has been reasonably responsible, not resisting arrest etc. But to expect to get a tape back that was part of the comission of his crime, I don’t think so.

    Heck, even the clothes off his back (if he actually dressed in some sort of utility worker’s garb) would likely be forfeitable as well.

    I know that the results of the plea and sentencing hearings have to be written in in orders before becoming official. I would suspect those orders to cite whatever provision of law are applicable. I would not expect the judge’s bench statement to do so.

    Soronel Haetir (f769ce)

  114. What crime?
    What instrumentalities?
    What fruits?

    Comment by Subotai — 5/27/2010 @ 3:52 pm

    What crime? The one he pleaded guilty to.
    What instrumentalities?
    The camera according to his defense excuse explanation.
    What fruits? The video.

    Comment by Subotai — 5/27/2010 @ 3:52 pm

    nk (db4a41)

  115. That last comment was me responding to Subotai and not by Subotai.

    nk (db4a41)

  116. Hey Dustin, do you have Red Dead Redemption yet? Awesome game, I highly recommend it. (yes, this is totally off topic, sorry)

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  117. Soronel,

    So: you provide us with the law, which says forfeitures apply to felonies and not misdemeanors — yet you’re sticking with your view.

    Even though you now know the law does not authorize it.

    Patterico (61c814)

  118. If the defense made a Brady motion and the judge denied it, or if it subpoenad the FBI for the tape and the judge qushed the subpoena, there would be an issue. Otherwise, there’s no case here. It’s like when Breitbart said that O’Keefe was held for twenty-eight hours “without access to a lawyer”. Defendants often feel that they have not been given all their rights. Lawyers should be careful not to let sympathy make them forget their own knowledge of the law and buy into the defendants’ legal theories.

    nk (db4a41)

  119. “#

    Hey Dustin, do you have Red Dead Redemption yet? Awesome game, I highly recommend it. (yes, this is totally off topic, sorry)

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 4:32 pm

    Oh yeah, I forgot who the PS3 player was. I have yet to get the game, but I am very interested in it. I’m afraid I don’t have enough time for the PS3, which is a shame since there are so many great releases lately.

    Back to the topic, it’s one thing to disapprove of O’Keefe’s undercover methods. I can even understand someone saying that was unacceptable for ACORN, so I have to admit there’s an argument that it’s crossing the line when investigating federal officials.

    but O’Keefe has suffered a variety of civil rights violations. his laptop’s confidential emails to counsel… a sacred protection, where not only read by the prosecution, but even selectively leaked. His evidence of a real act of corruption, which I admit is merely notional without this evidence, is being destroyed by an out of control judge. What do we do after this penalty is enforced? There’s no going back. There’s probably no adequate damage theory even if the judge wasn’t immune.

    This is something any liberal should be very uncomfortable with. Even criminals have civil rights. I reject the idea that O’Keefe was some serious criminal. With the government going this far out of its way to violate his rights, there’s no reason to assume he got an easy break from this ‘he was going to destroy their phones’ or wiretap theory.

    Just the way O’Keefe has been treated exposes much worse corruption than he was initially there to investigate. If he had predicted this kind of reaction before it happened, the left would have called him a kook.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  120. I wish I had more time, too, Dustin.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  121. Well, it’s been a fun discussion even if nothing came out of it. Thank you all.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  122. If you had more time, would you be making more “guesses” that involved making up stuff that was contrary to the actual facts, Chris Hooten?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  123. Soronel, even IF the felony forfeiture law applied (which it does not, as has been explained several times now), the camera and film were not instrumentalities of the crime of entering under false pretenses.

    The clothes on their backs, perhaps, at least for the two in the “phone company” costumes. Instrumentalities are items which in some way facilitate the crime itself. The car carrying the drugs facilitates the transport of those drugs, the illegal act. The camera, however, did not in any way facilitate the crime of entering or attempting to enter government property under false pretenses. Something is not an “instrumentality” of a crime just because you happen to be carrying it with you at the time you commit the crime. The costumes, now those played an active role in the “false pretenses.” They were a component of the fraud, so they are instrumentalities, as would the “tool belt” and so forth they were wearing. But not the camera.

    And in fact that’s the legal distinction between this case and the seized and destroyed Peeping Tom videos described above. The taking of the pictures in those cases was the illegal act, and so the camera was an instrumentality of those crimes. That’s not the case here.

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  124. Well, it’s been a fun discussion even if nothing came out of it. Thank you all.

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 5:02 pm

    Apparent translation: “Since I didn’t convince any of you of MY point of view, I consider the conversation fruitless but I sure had fun trying.”

    no one you know (196ed7)

  125. I thought exculpatory evidence can get the eyes closed and ears plugged treatment… but destruction?

    Steve G (7d4c78)

  126. You all might want to take a look at bradblog.com, especially Patterico. BTW, with the FBI release of their accounting of the incident, I see that they did indeed just handle the handset of the phone. Also, apparently they pretended to call the office phone on their cells, but did not actually do it. If you can’t stomach bradblog, you can read the FBI release here instead.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  127. Now Hooten is linking to bradblog? That’s hilarious. You’ve paid no attention to how often he’s been caught making up stuff on this case? Or more likely, its your prime source for your fact-less “guesses”.

    You really are quite clueless.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  128. Hooten’s next trick will be linking to Los Angeles Times’ coverage.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  129. that link does not go to bradblog. talk about clueless. The FBI says that they were there with the intention of recording the employees without their permission in another deceptive “sting” operation very similar to the ACORN hit job.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  130. “I see that they did indeed just handle the handset of the phone.”

    Chris – That has been clear from Day 1.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  131. Chris, there is absolutely nothing illegal in Louisiana about taping conversations you have with another person, even public official in public offices, believe it or not. Louisiana is a one-party consent to record state, so the Landrieu employee’s lack of knowledge of being recorded is utterly irrelevant, legally. The DOJ press release is irrelevant to the discussion of what O’Keefe and the others plead guilty to, or whether the judge has any legal basis to order the destruction of the video recording.

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  132. O’Keefe and Breitbart are the ones making stuff up. Let me guess, the FBI is now infiltrated by “liberals” and this is a big conspiracy against poor O’Keefe and Breitbart. Face it, O’Keefe and Breitbart lied to you, and now the FBI is telling you what really happened, and what they were really doing there. They lied to you, as usual.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  133. Wrong, Hooten. You are ignoring the numerous posts that Patterico made right here that showed just how dishonest Brad is.

    Good job of showing your lack of credibility.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  134. “I know you are, but what am I?”
    -AD-RtR/OS
    How clever of you, AD. How did you ever come up with that?
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 2:50 pm

    To the best of my memory, I never did. Perhaps you could refresh my memory, or withdraw you comment?

    Yeah, Right!

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  135. Who said anything about Brad? What are you talking about? I am talking about the lame reason they gave for being in the office. They lied to you. But you keep believing everything they say. The only people they didn’t lie to was the cops. They lied through their teeth to everyone else, before and after this incident, to the office workers, to the media, and to you. I am not going to get involved in the ACORN scam thing, but suffice to say I do not think Brad is a liar, or that Patterico proved him dishonest in any way. We will have to agree to disagree, and leave it at that. Let’s just say there has been some confusion between the fictional “Sonny” and the character O’Keefe was playing. I refuse to respond to any comments about the ACORN thing due to inherent irrationality in responses at this site. It is a hot-button issue that gets people all worked up.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  136. Translation of 134:
    Yabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba, said the monkey to the chimp.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)


  137. me:
    …you will be bitten on the @ss by them some day because of their poor judgement and childish amateurism.”

    You:

    Truer words have never been spoken about the Omama Administration.

    To be read: “I know you are, but what am I?”

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  138. That was for AD, btw.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  139. BTW don’t chimps technically hunt and eat monkeys? They probably don’t get along very well due to that, I would guess.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  140. have happened if this was 4 Muslim men going into a Republican Senator’s office under false pretenses? If they supported the ending of don’t ask don’t tell the left would be estatic.Islam and its hatred of homosexuality is the best reason to oppose it. Do you agree?

    highpockets (cf4a2b)

  141. I am not going to get involved in the ACORN scam thing…I refuse to respond to any comments about the ACORN thing due to inherent irrationality in responses at this site. my preemptive knowledge of my inability to respond to evidence that might be brought up about this even though no one’s talking about ACORN now. It is a hot-button issue that gets people all worked up, something that’s never stopped me from commenting on any other topic before.

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 6:17 pm

    My dear sir, you’re going to have to try a bit harder. LOL

    no one you know (14208b)

  142. They lied to you.
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 6:17 pm

    I hate being lied to so please do let me know what they lied about. If they’re liars my support for them will plummet, and so will support for them elsewhere. Specifics, please? Thanks.

    no one you know (14208b)

  143. If four men, who happened to be Muslim went into a Senator Cornyn’s office to prove, without any attempt to damage anything, that Senator Cornyn was actively lying about something, I would celebrate their intrepid journalism.

    Swear to God. It’s been repeatedly asserted that O’Keefe wanted to disable the phones to frame Landrieu. I think that’s just plain unreasonable. He just doesn’t have a record of making stuff up, despite many attempts to prove he does, it seems the people making stuff up are O’Keefe’s detractors, be it from his time in school to ACORN to what he plead guilty to.

    How was he going to disable the phones? We know now that he had no tools that could do that, and he was filming himself. I think that’s not credible and doesn’t deserve much response.

    And it’s besides the point. I want to see this tape, no matter what’s on it. I don’t see the problem. O’Keefe didn’t commit a felony, so this is his property anyway.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  144. Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 6:21 pm

    So, you prove for all the world to see that those are your words and not mine.
    My Goodness, your depth of depravity is just stunning.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  145. You can’t see the childishly similar logic? Are you always so literal? Of course you didn’t specifically say that, you just employed an equally lame form of taking an insult and merely lobbying it back at the person, lacking any humor, cleverness, or intelligence.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  146. Oh, Stop…I can’t stand the pain.
    I keep falling out of my chair rolling around on the floor laughing, and bumping into things.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  147. It’s not on point and it may not be relevant at all, but State vs Mustaro discusses challenging a guilty plea based on the post-plea destruction of a police videotape. It seems to me O’Keefe would have a better chance of getting his tape had he requested it be produced prior to his plea. Did he?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  148. Comment by DRJ — 5/27/2010 @ 6:54 pm

    A good question. (Love learning things about case law from lawyers, which is about 11% of the reason this blog’s a regular stop. :) )

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 6:51 pm

    Speaking of learning things…would love to learn about what Breitbart and O’Keefe lied to us. Any specifics?

    no one you know (14208b)

  149. They had an entire sting planned, and had intended to record the the office workers’ reactions to their BS. It was a set up. They claimed (in O’Keefe’s own blog post here)that they were just checking the phone due to complaints that people couldn’t get through. That was a lie. They were setting up the people in the office for a sting. Those are two very different things. They lied to you. Read the FBI statement.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  150. Karnak the Magnificent … LIVES!

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  151. Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 7:06 pm

    OK, thank you for the data. Here’s what I see:

    1. Here’s the heart of James’ O’Keefe’s claim in his post (from your link at 7:06):

    I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for “weeks” because her phones were broken. In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu’s district office – the people’s office – to ask the staff if their phones were working.

    On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator.

    2. Now here’s the FBI statements about purpose:

    a. from the TEXT of the complaint–
    to engage the staff of Senator Mary Landrieu in her office inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans and to record the interactions.

    no one you know (14208b)

  152. sorry, hit enter by accident. Continued below.

    no one you know (14208b)

  153. from the FBI TEXT of the statement:

    to engage the staff of Senator Mary Landrieu in her office inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans and to record the interactions… Their purpose was to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to the Senator’s staff and capture the resulting conversation on video.

    I don’t see how those two statements contradict one another. Is there something in the FBI statement I’m missing?

    no one you know (14208b)

  154. That is the affidavit, not the more recent statement from May 26th. Below is the more recent statement:

    Department of Justice Press Release

    For Immediate Release

    May 26, 2010 United States Attorney’s Office
    Eastern District of Louisiana
    Contact: (504) 680-3000

    Four Men Plead Guilty to Entering Federal Property Under False Pretenses
    Entered Senator Mary Landrieu’s Office to Secretly Record Office Staff Conversations

    NEW ORLEANS—Joseph Basel, 24; Stan Dai, 25; Robert Flanagan, 24; and James O’Keefe, 25, pleaded guilty today in front of U. S. Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Knowles, III, to one-count of entering federal property under false pretenses, announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. As a result of their conviction, Basel, Dai and Flanagan were each ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, placed on two years probation and serve 75 hours of community service within the first year of probation; O’Keefe was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, placed on three years probation and serve 100 hours of community service within the first year of probation.

    According to court documents, the four men met in New Orleans on Jan. 20, 2010, to discuss various topics, including possible scenarios to engage the staff of Senator Mary Landrieu in her office inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans and to record the interactions. On Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, O’Keefe called Flanagan and invited him to participate in the plan, which Flanagan accepted. The next day, Basel, Dai, Flanagan and O’Keefe met, discussed the disguises they would wear, and practiced how they would interact with Senator Landrieu’s staff and record the interactions.

    Also according to court documents, at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, Basel, Flanagan and O’Keefe met in an office near the Hale Boggs Federal Building to finalize their plan, check the recording devices and mount a camera in one of the disguises. During this meeting, O’Keefe explained how the recording devices worked and instructed Basel and Flanagan how to position themselves once inside the Senator’s office.

    At approximately 11:00 a.m., Basel, Flanagan and O’Keefe entered the federal building and passed through the security screening. Their purpose was to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to the Senator’s staff and capture the resulting conversation on video. Dai remained outside to provide support. Basel and Flanagan were each dressed like telephone repairmen, wearing blue denim pants, a blue work shirt, a fluorescent green vest, a tool belt and a white hard hat. One of the hats contained a video recording device installed on the brim.

    O’Keefe entered Senator Landrieu’s office first and positioned a digital video recorder made to look like a cellular telephone in his hand to record the interaction. He told the staff that he was waiting for a friend. He recorded the subsequent interaction.

    Basel and Flanagan entered the office soon thereafter and told the Senator’s staff that they were telephone repairmen who were following up on reports of problems with the telephone system. A staff member said that there were no problems with the phone system, and Basel then asked the staff member for permission to test the phone. Basel then walked behind a staff member’s desk, lifted the handset from the cradle, questioned whether there was a dial tone and handled the receiver. Basel and Flanagan each pretended to call the office phone with their own cellular phones, and they said the calls would not go through. O’Keefe also interjected and said he had previously placed a call to the office that would not go through.

    Basel then told a staff member that he and Flanagan needed to perform repair work on the main phone system, and he asked that they be taken to the “central box.” The staff member directed them to the office of the General Services Administration (GSA), and Basel and Flanagan followed the staff member to GSA’s office inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building. Upon meeting a GSA employee, Basel and Flanagan again said they were telephone repairmen, and Basel again asked to be taken to the phone system’s “central box.”

    The GSA employee asked Basel and Flanagan if they had a work order or credentials, and they responded that they had left both their work order and credentials in their vehicle, parked just outside of the building. The GSA employee then informed Basel and Flanagan that he would escort them to their truck so that they could provide him with the work order and their credentials.

    O’Keefe left Senator Landrieu’s office several minutes after Basel and Flanagan went to the GSA office, after pretending to take a call from “Sam.”

    All four men were apprehended shortly thereafter

    The investigation of this matter was conducted by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Deputy Marshals with the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  155. I’ve got $100 that says Hooten cannot provide any cleart, incontrovertible evidence of his contention.

    GeneralMalaise (4e741b)

  156. make that “clear”…

    GeneralMalaise (4e741b)

  157. They were not just checking the phone system as they claimed.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  158. They had an entire sting planned, and had intended to record the the office workers’ reactions to their BS…They were setting up the people in the office for a sting.

    IOW: I thought the “sting” was to catch the office in what O’Keefe believed were prior lies that the office couldn’t take calls. Leaving legality aside for the moment, one would sort of have to record stuff going on in the office to do that. How is that a “lie?”

    no one you know (14208b)

  159. I copied the statement from this article in the Colorado Independent.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  160. They had an entire sting planned, and had intended to record the the office workers’ reactions to their BS…They were setting up the people in the office for a sting.

    IOW: I thought the “sting” was to catch the office in what O’Keefe believed were prior lies that the office couldn’t take calls. Leaving legality aside for the moment, one would sort of have to record stuff going on in the office to do that. How is that a “lie?”

    Comment by no one you know — 5/27/2010 @ 7:24 pm

    no one you know (14208b)

  161. Sheesh. Sorry.

    no one you know (14208b)

  162. Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 7:21 pm

    Yes. I read that whole statement, and even quoted from it @ 7:17.

    How does anything in that statement contradict O’Keefe’s statement of purpose? Please point me to the contradiction. Thanks.

    no one you know (14208b)

  163. They were not just checking the phone. From the above statement:

    “Their purpose was to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to the Senator’s staff and capture the resulting conversation on video.”

    Notice the use of the word “orchestrate” as it is integral to what I am saying. This was a pre-planned sting operation. They already knew the phones worked, or they wouldn’t have had to pretend to call the office on their cell phones, and have it not go through. They were attempting another sting operation, this time to embarrass the Senator. They obviously were not there to “check the phones.” Which is what they claimed.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  164. If they really believed the phones were not working, and wanted to test them, they would have really attempted to call on their cell phones, not pretend.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  165. I’m guessing that $100 will never materialize.

    Chris Hooten (a7437f)

  166. He’s plead guilty. What’s to exculpate?

    pizzathehut (803b85)

  167. From the above statement:

    “Their purpose was to orchestrate a conversation about phone calls to the Senator’s staff and capture the resulting conversation on video.”

    Notice the use of the word “orchestrate” as it is integral to what I am saying.
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 7:32 pm


    Receptionist
    : May I help you?

    O’Keefe(in phone repairman uniform): Hi, we’re here about the phones.

    Receptionist: um, the phones?

    O’Keefe Cohort: We understand, ma’am, that you’re having trouble with your phones.

    Receptionist
    : [also from FBI statement above] No, the phones are working.

    O’Keefe: Oh. [either having expected this reply, having practiced with his friends per your FBI statement or suspecting wires out in the phone closet, indicating a phone system disabled by staff, plus needing to keep up pretense of what a repairman would say]: Well, let’s try calling the office. And can we see your phone closet?

    Et cetera.

    This IS an “orchestrated” conversation. Pretty self explanatory. Perhaps you’re getting caught up in the legal language.

    If your explanation is right and O’Keefe lied, then what was he trying to “embarrass the Senator” ABOUT?

    no one you know (14208b)

  168. Hooten… I went to that link you posted in #125 and – other than misrepresenting themselves as telephone repairmen in a federal building – I see no other “crime” committed.

    Admittedly, I am not a lawyer… but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

    GeneralMalaise (4e741b)

  169. If they really believed the phones were not working, and wanted to test them, they would have really attempted to call on their cell phones, not pretend.

    Comment by Chris Hooten — 5/27/2010 @ 7:35 pm

    That’s the whole point. They didn’t know whether the phones were working or not. If they were, they they didn’t want to provide the Senator’s office’s caller ID with phone records of an incoming cell # for tracking purposes later when the video came out. If they weren’t, but had been disabled by the staff themselves, O’Keefe et al could still get a peek and a picture of the phone closet to see if any wires had been disconnected by staff.

    This is so obvious I’m embarrassed I have to explain it to you.

    no one you know (14208b)

  170. Well I think we can all agree that Mary Landrieu has good reason to be embarrassed quite apart from any successful or unsuccessful shenanigans what she might encounter.

    She’s a dirty socialist Obama flunky. How many of her state’s citizen’s did her loser little president man throw out of work today?

    Many numerous ones would be my guess.

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  171. The $100 will materialize when you are actually able to provide clear, incontrovertible evidence of your contention, Hooter.

    GeneralMalaise (4e741b)

  172. *citizens* I mean

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  173. Chris – What was the lie? You’re not making any sense.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  174. The one with happy feet
    abuses the clueless chirpy Senator Miss Piggy
    the wind cries “Big Zero”…

    GeneralMalaise (4e741b)

  175. Chris Hooten, an army of one, fighting the demons in his head.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  176. Chris – Do you have a GED? It’s not too late to get one.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  177. The NYTs gets away with breaking the law while undermining US security.

    O’Keefe gets caught on a misdemeanor while exposing embarassing behavior of a Senator and the embarrassing evidence is set to be destroyed.

    Maybe someone can pay the SEIU to protest on the lawn of the judge who made the decision.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  178. If this were Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan or one of those Code Pink twats what are always disrupting Congress, O’Keefe would have been released with no consequences. The problem is that he’s a white conservative male.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  179. Soronel got quiet right after his legal theory went to shit.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  180. Chris Hooten, Brad has lied to everyone. And yet you send people there.

    You really don’t have a clue do you? You have no clue just how stupid you made yourself look coming here and trying to send people to bradblog.

    All the more hilarious that the statement you claim supports your fantasies simply does not.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  181. “Brad has lied to everyone”

    SPQR – That’s what he does. He should really rename it THE LIE BLOG.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  182. Brad is actually claiming that O’Keefe really DID have a “wiretapping plot” because he intended to secretly record Landrieu’s employees. By talking to them and using a hidden camera.

    The sheer appalling dishonesty of this man apparently knows no bounds.

    Chris Hooten, have you no shame? Do you actually support such brazen and obvious lies?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  183. By the way, there is a material omission in that press release. Big story coming tomorrow on that.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  184. Hooten not only has no shame, he’s lacking the basic competence to hide its lack.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  185. “Brad is actually claiming that O’Keefe really DID have a “wiretapping plot””

    Either Brad uses a dictionary nobody else has ever seen or he is blatantly lying.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  186. If they were truly worried about caller-ID, they would have purchased pre-paid phones from the local 7-11.

    AD - RtR/OS! (fce032)

  187. We see that there are some liars Chris Hooten prefers to associate with.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  188. Brad is actually claiming that O’Keefe really DID have a “wiretapping plot” because he intended to secretly record Landrieu’s employees.

    Where is Brad’s blog published? “Wiretapping” is a specific criminal act, is it not? Isn’t that assertion in writing libel? It would seem especially egregious since I don’t recall O’Keefe ever charged with wiretapping.

    Apogee (49749b)

  189. bradblog.com, apogee

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  190. Might I add, Apogee, that it’s a pretty much as far in the tank as you can possibly get. I do not understand Chris’s point of view, and I think it’s hard to accept his views of the commenters here, but at least he’s very civil. A massive improvement from many from that particular shade of blue.

    But Bradblog.com is for people who aren’t conservative enough for DemocraticUnderground.com or DailyKos. I am absolutely not exaggerating. It’s very entertaining, but it’s not a fair fight to pit Patterico against Brad.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  191. Patterico against most anybody isn’t a fair fight.

    What I meant was, from which state does Brad blog Bradblog? See? Easier to understand.

    Apogee (49749b)

  192. Here is Brad tweeting Steve Cooley to try to get me in trouble with my job for calling him a liar.

    TheBradBlog @SteveCooley4AG U cool w ur Dep DAs tweeting this 2 constnts/media? RT @Patterico @TheBradBlog that’s a fucking lie & u are a fucking liar.

    Intimidation FAIL. It didn’t work when Jeff Goldstein did it to me from the right, and it won’t work when Brad Friedman does it to me from the left.

    My response:

    @TheBradBlog I’m pretty sure @SteveCooley4AG is cool with me calling liars like you what they are. But thanks for asking! #intimidationFAIL

    I don’t live my life cowering from turds like you, Friedman.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  193. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    Los Angeles.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  194. you know who are intimidating are the Pointer Sisters

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  195. I have seen far too many claims that they were just in the reception area or they never messed with the phone system.

    Comment by Chris Hooten

    Is this person actually allowed to drive and post on blogs and stuff that normal people do ? I get up in Madrid this morning to see what went on yesterday at Patterico and I see an enormous thread concerning the drivel from an obviously weak mind. Can’t someone put this thread out of its misery ? This person has no thinking skills if this is the best he can do.

    Chris, if this is your best, it’s back to 7th grade for you.

    Mike K (67e8ce)

  196. I just struck gold in the form of Brad Friedman’s Wikipedia entry:

    This article may contain wording that promotes the subject through exaggeration of unnoteworthy facts. Please remove or replace such wording.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha.

    (H/t @breitbartfan77.)

    Patterico (c218bd)

  197. Mike K — you’re in Madrid? Very neat.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  198. 193 was a response to 191.

    If you go to bradfriedman.com, it’s kinda clear this is some kind of self absorbed narcissist. He’s not serious about a debate. He just wants to rule that he has won, no matter the facts. Which explains why John Kerry and Al Gore didn’t really lose their elections, since Brad didn’t want them to and Brad can’t possibly be wrong. In his words “No Election too Small to be Stolen by Republicans.”.

    My personal beef with him is his treatment of RNLA. I know first hand that those folks will help democrats vote and otherwise play fair, so long as it ensures a fair election process. Their main concern has been fighting against democrat lawsuits proactively, preventing problems at the polls, documenting problems early so they can be fixed ASAP instead of rolled into a lawsuit (such actions lead to low accountability and, ahem, anomalous results), getting rolls and checklists where they belong on election morning and making sure election judges understand and perform to the law, etc etc etc instead of allowing deliberate chaos. One way that chaos is manipulated is to keep polls open late, often leading to miraculous ‘oh there that box of hundreds of ballots was!’ discoveries. Often, the RNLA prepares for lawsuits that the democrats file in the name of a deceased person, wasting time and resources when the dead guy doesn’t show up at court.

    For their honest dealing, they are constantly demonized as stealing elections by Freidman, who has been in documentaries and blogging about how poor Gore and Kerry were cheated. I’ve seen how that affects paranoid people who think Republicans want to steal their God given right to cast a ballot.

    OK, the intimidation is also annoying. And OK, the constant lies about the ACORN transcripts. and the manner O’Keefe’s been treated has simply been crap. But I have a more serious beef with this … person. He fundamentally does not get that people have a right to vote against Gore or Kerry or Obama. All these jackals that attempt to screw with our election process are the darkest and most disgusting sort of partisan. It’s no shock he’s trying to intimidate Patterico and lie about O’Keefe, because he really has no moral limitation.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  199. the reception desk of an office is the most important part of an office in my opinion;:’

    Kyle Griffin (ae4cbe)

  200. the reception desk of any office should also have some decoration to make it look much better ”

    Styrofoam Sheets · (a406ab)


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