ACORN Non-Pimp O’Keefe to Plead Guilty to Misdemeanor
March 27, 2010
(ChattahBox)—James O’Keefe, conservative activist, former ACORN non-pimp and employee of Andrew Brietbart, founder of BigGoverment.com and other right-wing Web sites, has reportedly reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, in return for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor. O’Keefe was arrested and charged with a felony of tampering with the telephone system of the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), along with three of his co-conspirators.
On Friday, federal persecutors released a bill of information, charging O’Keefe, 25, and his three conservative cohorts, Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, all 24, with a misdemeanor charge of entering a federal building on false pretenses. The new charges carry a penalty of a maximum prison term of six months and a fine of $5,000. A felony charge could have resulted in a prison term of up to 10 years.
The bill of information detailed O’Keefe’s plot:
“The bill of information says that in mid-January the four men discussed “planning possible scenarios” to engage the staff in the office of Ms. Landrieu, a Democrat, and to record the interactions. They decided that Mr. Basel and Mr. Flanagan would, “while disguised to look like telephone repairmen, state to staff members of the senator that they were following up on reports of problems with the telephone system, engage them in a conversation about the telephone system, and pretend to test the phone system,” while Mr. O’Keefe recorded the interactions.”
After his arrest, O’Keefe denied reports that he planned to tamper with the phone system. During an appearance on Fox News’ Sean Hannity, O’Keefe claimed that he and his group planned to expose the huge scandal of Sen. Landrieu’s staffers refusing to answer constituents’ calls regarding the healthcare reform bill. During the heated debate leading up to the votes on the healthcare reform bills in the House and Senate, many lawmakers’ phone lines were jammed, due to tea party leaders and right-wing pundits urging people to phone lawmakers.
And Brietbart appeared on Fox News to make the unfounded charge that O’Keefe was a victim of a lefty conspiracy waged by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisiana, the mainstream media and U.S. Attorney Eric Holder’s refusal to investigate ACORN.
In recent days, ACORN, the community organization for poor minority residents of urban neighborhoods, was forced to disband, in the wake of the media scandal erupting from O’Keefe’s heavily edited videos purporting to show wrongdoing by some ACORN staffers. O’Keef and Andrew Brietbart, who promoted the videos online, have not released the unedited versions of the videos taken by O’Keefe and his partner in the scam Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute.
Additionally, the highly hyped videos showing O’Keefe dressed in an outlandish pimp costume, led viewers and the media to believe that O’Keefe actually wore his cartoonish pimp costume into ACORN offices during his sting. He did not. The pimp costume was a fraud, used to create a media falsehood. He wore khackis and a button down shirt. And O’Keefe reinforced this falsehood, when he appeared on Fox News wearing the pimp costume. The NY Times was recently forced to issue a correction to its previous reporting, in which it printed as fact, that O’Keefe was dressed as a pimp during his undercover sting. But the damage has already been done.
After his arrest in January, O’Keefe defiantly tweeted: “I am a journalist. The truth shall set me free.” He is only viewed as a “journalist,” by the likes of right-wing propaganda king and O’Keefe’s employer, Andrew Brietbart. And when he finally pleads guilty and receives a sentence for his bizarre escapade inside Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office, O’Keefe will just be another common criminal.