Does Arrested Guerilla Filmmaker James O'Keefe Deserve Due Process? And is He Getting it?


Over at Big Government, Andrew Breitbart weighs in on the arrest of James O'Keefe, the twentysomething filmmaker whose ACORN videos burst on to the scene last fall and who is in hot water after getting caught monkeying around in Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) New Orleans office.

Earlier Monday, the man who first published James O'Keefe's explosive videos exposing wrongdoing at community organizer ACORN came to the filmmaker's defense, claiming he "sat in jail for 28 hours without access to an attorney" while the prosecutor made his case to the media.

O'Keefe was "framed" by the media and the U.S. attorney's office, Andrew Breitbart, publisher of, told Fox News. 

Click here to read the affidavit.

"James O'Keefe sat in jail for 28 hours without access to an attorney, while the U.S. attorney leaked the information about his arrest, helping the media frame it as 'Watergate Junior,'" Breitbart said.

O'Keefe declined to talk about Breitbart's allegations to Fox News' Sean Hannity Monday night, adding he was cooperating with the U.S. attorney's office and was pleased with the way the U.S. attorney was handling the case.

The top U.S. attorney in the case has stepped down, recusing himself because one of the people charged in the case is the son of a another federal attomey based in Louisiana. Whole account here.

Full disclosure: I blog at Big Goverment. And Breitbart has spoken at Reason events (including our 40th anniversary gala held in Los Angeles in 2008, where he discoursed on new media and politics) and at our DC offices in February 2008, along with Fox News Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld:

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  1. The compassionate souls in The Atlantic commentariat want him thrown in prison forever and be daily Steve Smith-ed because of the ACORN thing. That’s OK for them, because they are the end result of thousands of years of human moral Progress so know better than us about that.

  2. Breitbart can be a real blowhard at times. If he thinks it’s unusual for someone to sit in the joint for a little over a day without having access to a lawyer, he doesn’t know much about this country’s justice system. O’Keefe stepped way out of bounds on this one and *should* be prosecuted. This ain’t no college prank, Bubba!

    1. Prejudging the case much? Isn’t this *exactly* the reason why we have due process?

    2. I dunno, try blowing up an airliner and you get Miranda in 50 minutes.

      1. Succeed, and you don’t get mirandized at all.

  3. My understanding is that a defendnat only has a sixth amendment right to counsel at their initial hearing. If O’Keefe wasn’t getting an initial hearing for 28 hours, then there’s no violation.

  4. Did Retracto see his shadow?Breitbart needs to put that alpaca on the weather beat too.

  5. Holy frijole! I thought O’Keefe was a beer!


  6. Do we really know what the “action” was designed to accomplish?

    If they were there to bug the Senator’s phones, why film it? To increase the amount of evidence against yourself?

    Apparently their defense is going to be that they were just doing a Michael Moore style gag in order to film the reaction, and had neither the intention nor the ability to actually tap the Senator’s phones. Supposedly the Senator was refusing to take phone calls from constituents about the health care bill, so the reason O’Keefe was taping the fake “repair guys visit” was to get someone on the Senator’s staff to say, “There’s nothing wrong with our phones, we’re just refusing to take the calls. If people are telling you our phones don’t work, they’re wrong.” And frankly, that scenario fits the presence of O’Keefe filming about a billion times better than an actual bugging attempt does.

    1. O’Keefe claims to have had no bugging equipment with him personally or in the van. That part of the story seems to be part of the left’s auto-smear campaign.

    2. Actually bugging does seem unlikely. Why would he be there for that? The GOP surely has professionals for such things. Like moonlighting CIA agents.

    3. Videotaping our crime spree was the best idea we ever had!

  7. Team Blue’s revved up because they found another individual to squash as a demonstration to others who might otherwise embarrass them.

    1. Do you want another tissue, Glen Beck?

      Here’s a quick test to gauge how full of crap you are: reverse the political affiliation of the parties. If a 25 year old dem and his 3 buddies broke into a republican senator’s office and screwed with the phones, would your opinion on the criminality of the action change?

      If so, congratulations, you’re full of crap.

      1. If he’s guilty of whatever, he can go to jail for however. I’m talking about the fact that Team Blue took a hit and now they want blood. Hence the eagerly drawn daggers and bombastic rhetoric about massive punishments and prison rape.

        So, in a sentence, congratulations, you’re full of crap.

        Apology accepted, though.

        1. Team Red has been foaming at the mouth for the last year. Is it so wrong to want to see a rabid animal chained up?

          Congrats, you’re still full of crap.

        2. Team Red has been foaming at the mouth for the last year. Is it so wrong to want to see a rabid animal chained up?

          Congrats, you’re still full of crap.

  8. It seems like he was trying to do a Michael Moore-like stunt. Do even the most ACORN loving lefties really think that an ordinary kid would have the ability to wiretap a Federal official?

    1. Do even the most ACORN loving lefties really think that an ordinary kid would have the ability to wiretap a Federal official?

      No, but this isn’t about reality. It’s a propaganda opportunity, and I personally have soiled several pairs of silk panties in my sleep.

      1. well actually its pretty easy to tap a phone if you get access to their telco box. and if you are dressed as and posing as a telephone repairman its not that hard to mess with a telco box unnoticed.

        BUT there seems to be no published evidence that he actually intended to or had the means to tap phones. we shouldn’t be prejudging one way or the other because we don’t know all of the facts yet.

        1. wanted to add:
          I think the left wants revenge for ACORN being exposed. but hopefully it will come out that he wasn’t actually going to tap their phones and gets off scottfree, gaining a ton of good publicity for him.

          1. If you’re not going to prejudge someone then you are missing the whole point of the internet. (sarcasm)

          2. Lol, like what, you know he wasn’t going to do anything? Facts are, going into a federal workers office and posing as someone else, with the intention of interfering with their phone lines, is a felony that carries a ten year sentence. So much for that.

            1. Facts are also going into a federal workers office and posing as someone else, without the intention of interfering with their phone lines is a misdemeanor at worst.

  9. The more I read about this, the more it seems like they’re blowing it out of proportion because of the ACORN scandal. Although the 28 hours in jail part would normally mean that he was just part of the normal backlog, the prosecutor leaking details to the media would indicate that his case was already being looked at and they were just letting him stew.

  10. What part of his 25 year old brain told him to go in there and try to pull a stunt like that without legal counsel. I can’t help think he is a dumb kid encouraged by conservatives and their media. BTW, I couldn’t watch the whole tape because that asshole Gutfeld.

  11. Shouldn’t you be ironing your dress or something?

    1. Shouldn’t you have your ass in the ground or something?

  12. O’Keefe is an idiot, not unlike Michael Moore. The ACORN prank was stupid and so was this (whether or not the wiretapping attempt is really what was happening).

    1. What amazed me about the ACORN prank is that anybody fell for it.

  13. Based on the affidavit, it looks like they did indeed commit a crime, but the crime wasn’t attempted wiretapping.

  14. So let me get this straight: Andrew Breitbart is complaining that James O’Keefe of the Acorn-pimps-ho’s video is getting tried by the media? Bwahahahahahaaaha!!!

  15. O’Keefe should’ve thrown some actual prank videos into the mix . . . as a distractor: his theme is too much porno and not enough gag reel. Telephone repair guys? Is a pizza delivery guy part of the next script?

    1. I’m available if he wants to go with a cable guy theme for his next film!

  16. It’s like the FBI busted the Scooby Do kids and towed the Mystery Machine.

    1. Win comment. Nice.

      As for the story….Dems are pissed about ACORN getting exposed and want revenge.

  17. Cool! One of the Neo-Watergaters is a local kid!…

    Well, local to me, that is.

  18. First Question: Yes, of course.
    Second Question: I don’t know.

  19. The top U.S. attorney in the case has stepped down, recusing himself because one of the people charged in the case is the son of a another federal attomey based in Louisiana.

    I haven’t seen any source saying outright that that’s the reason why he recused himself. All I’ve seen is speculation. And, frankly, it sounds pretty lame, unless the guy in Shreveport is a very close friend.

  20. So Senator Mary doesn’t want to answer her phone. So what? There’s nothing in the Constitution that says she has to. Doesn’t the right to privacy extend to Senators?

    1. Yes, if she pays for the cellphone bill herself. If it’s owned by the federal government *should* be ours to do with as we please (including wiretapping).

      However, it probably isn’t. I’m no lawyer, but I am a student of humanity.

    2. Nope. Bitch wants privacy, she needs to go back to being one of the proles.

      Besides, for her to not answer the phones is unconstitutional. Can’t petition for redress if nobody from the government will talk to you.

      1. “Besides, for her to not answer the phones is unconstitutional.”

        So true! Why, George Washington answered his own telephone whenever anyone called!

        1. Go take your pill, bob, and then keep your wood away from me.

          1. I take it you don’t find it absurd to talk about the constitutionality of answering a telephone? Maybe we should ask Scalia.

            1. I tried. He’s not picking up.

  21. Hahahaha, the neocon retards are all coming out of the woodwork now, and they’re all experts on privacy law and the Constitution! With any luck, one of you morons will end up representing O’Keefe.

    1. STFU Cuntmore.

      Why don’t you go back to defending Obama working with an agency that promotes the sexual slavery of minors?

      You are one sick and twisted fuck.

      1. Try as you might, you can’t blame ACORN for this thug going to jail. ANd they so do love his type in prison, shifty and backstabbing, he should make loads of friends.

        What goes around comes around


        We reap what we sow

  22. I’ll bet there will be a regular conga line going through the closeted gay fake pimp. Yay. A Corn Holin.

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