U.S. Attorney Recuses Himself from O’Keefe Case; Updated with Video of O’Keefe on Hannity
posted at 10:04 pm on February 1, 2010 by Patterico
The same day the man who first published James O’Keefe’s explosive videos exposing wrongdoing at community organizer ACORN came to his defense Monday, claiming the conservative filmmaker “sat in jail for 28 hours without access to an attorney” while the prosecutor made his case to the media, the U.S. attorney involved stepped down.
O’Keefe, accused of trying to tamper with the phones of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, was “framed” by the media and the U.S. attorney’s office, Andrew Breitbart, publisher of BigGovernment.com, told Fox News Monday.
Hours later, Jim Letten, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, recused himself from the case.
No word yet on the reason for the recusal.
Meanwhile, O’Keefe made his first public appearance since his arrest, on tonight’s episode of Hannity. He expressed “no complaints” regarding the U.S. Attorney’s handling of the case, and added nothing particularly new concerning the details of the arrest.
Video will be added as it becomes available.
Update: Media Matters has video of O’Keefe saying that he thinks the whole episode was a “huge misunderstanding”:
Update: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the recusal happened last week, a day after the arrest:
According to a brief news release sent to reporters on Monday evening, Letten decided to recuse himself from the investigation and “potential prosecution” of the men because of “various relevant factors.” These factors, which the release stated were discussed with officials at the U.S. Department of Justice, are not named.
The recusal decision came the day after the men were arrested last week and the same day they were released from custody, according to the news release.
One wonders why they waited so long to announce it. The press release is still not available on the Web site of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Louisiana’s Eastern District.