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

FoxNews.com reports:

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.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

That whole Odinga incident, Obama with his bull-horn inciting violence, spawned a major riot; What was a sitting US senator doing sticking his nose into foreign elections (backing his cousin no less) using the tax payers dime?

And the media missed it in spite of raw footage from several sources. I will never get over that one.

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 12:09 AM

Obama is behaving like he is the ruler of Kenya, after he got Sharia Odinga installed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaqtcfEGYHI

The US ambassador has been openly running er addressing the internal matters of that country, diplomatic etiquettes be damned .

macncheez on February 2, 2010 at 12:42 AM

This case is BS, it will be reduced to a nothing charge and James will get off with a light one as he should. I knew the initial accusations were crap.

echosyst on February 2, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Hours later, Jim Letten, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, recused himself from the case.

Shades of Mike Nifong ?

Johan Klaus on February 2, 2010 at 12:55 AM

This case is BS, it will be reduced to a nothing charge and James will get off with a light one as he should. I knew the initial accusations were crap.

echosyst on February 2, 2010 at 12:54 AM

I’m still trying to figure out what he did illegally. He and his friends went into a federal office which is public property and video taped some stuff. Big deal. The driveby media does this all the time; goes into areas without an invitation to video tape what they consider news.

docdave on February 2, 2010 at 1:10 AM

So have the Selahi’s been prosecuted yet ?

They too went into a federal property
under false pretenses
wearing outfits which provided them cover
they stayed there, ate and drank
and took plenty of pictures
and then what ?

All you trolls lurking here
stop sniffing your fingers and start typing like meniacs
chop chop

macncheez on February 2, 2010 at 1:44 AM

macncheez on February 2, 2010 at 12:42 AM

Thanks for the vid.

My understanding was that an election had legitimately been decided and certified in favor of Odinga’s opponent (a Christian) but through strong arm tactics and threats of upheaval by militants, and with the riot inducing help of Obama, sharia Odinga (a muslim) was somehow installed as ruler.

In a word it was Chicago style politics exported abroad. There were hundreds of deaths and entire villages were ravaged. I don’t have all the facts but of what I recall it was jaw droppingly twisted and the international community and world media should be ashamed of themselves.

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 1:53 AM

Geochelone on February 2, 2010 at 1:53 AM

After muslims got Obama’s strategic and financial support, Kenya has been fast sliding into chaos, exclusively against Christians and the trader/business class. People are comparing the trend developing in Kenya to what they experienced in Uganda under Idi Amin. Many of them are selling off and getting out. They don’t want to come to the US because they say the real causer of Kenya’s tyranny ( Obama) will retaliate against them here . Instead they are moving into East Asian countries. Thats the level of fear in Kenya with Obama controlling their aid
(US taxpayer) money and Odinga controlling the government . Nothing happens there unless approved or ordered by the US ambassador.

Thankfully Honduras escaped Obama’s deadly calws, although the congress tried their best.
But not a peep out of the “real” newsmedia

macncheez on February 2, 2010 at 2:29 AM

American Power tracked-back with, ‘U.S. Prosecutor Recuses Himself in James O’Keefe Case’.

Donald Douglas on February 2, 2010 at 4:35 AM

I’m still trying to figure out what he did illegally. He and his friends went into a federal office which is public property and video taped some stuff. Big deal. The driveby media does this all the time; goes into areas without an invitation to video tape what they consider news.

docdave on February 2, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Was it legal to videotape inside the Boggs Federal building? With all the anti-terrorism measures, I have my doubts. Keep in mind they were not on Poydras Street filming the outside of the building. Keep in mind the complex is more than just the home to the vapid offspring of the Cajun Kennedys.

I’m convinced the initial reports were blown out of proportion because the left wanted to punish O’Keefe for smacking down ACORN and depriving the filthy lying coward in the White House of one of his most popular slush funds. Nevertheless, there is a fine line in investigative journalism and it could well have been crossed in this circumstance (not necessarily intentionally).

highhopes on February 2, 2010 at 7:40 AM

So have the Selahi’s been prosecuted yet ?

macncheez on February 2, 2010 at 1:44 AM

That door is still open but the Selahis will not be prosecuted. This is too much of an embarrassment for the adminstration and the Secret Service. It will go away and the grifting Selahis will and the other party crasher (who did get dinner) will be a cautionary tale for future functions.

highhopes on February 2, 2010 at 7:42 AM

One would think that if you caught someone red-handed in the act of wiretapping, you’d catch them with wiretapping equipment. Is it true that the only thing they caught O’Keefe with was a cell phone camera capturing Landrieu’s staff blowing off constituent phone calls.

olesparkie on February 2, 2010 at 8:14 AM

This could make for a very interesting court case. Imagine the depositions of Landrieu’s staff answering questions about how they’ve been handling phone calls from the people of Louisiana! Delicious!

olesparkie on February 2, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Stuff still doesn’t seem to add up… like there are some big missing parts to this story.

But I know this: Andrew Breitbart is formidable. He’d never go to O’Keefe’s defense if he hadn’t first scrutinized the facts closely and found the case to be strong.

Get ‘em, AB!

petefrt on February 2, 2010 at 8:35 AM

olesparkie: which is why this will probably never see the inside of a court room. Most people who hold conservative views know Landrieu is blowing them off we just have to look at the way she has been voting lately.

sdan on February 2, 2010 at 8:38 AM

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.

–We talked about this last week. If Jim Letten is good friends with the US attorney for the Western District of LA, he would probably want to recuse himself because the son of the Western District US attorney is one of the people charged.

Jimbo3 on February 2, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Why wasn’t he just asked to leave the building?
That’s my question. He never refused to leave so I don’t see what the problem is.

bridgetown on February 2, 2010 at 10:12 AM

I was surprised when initially people on this bog were jumping all over O’Keefe, so quick to assume that he did something wrong based on MSM accounts. Almost as quick as the lib blogs. I suspected from the beginning this was a witch hunt. If this was a lib journalist, the libs will stan by him no matter what, even if he was as guilty as hell. i knew there was a different side of the story. Every conservative should support this guy, even if he did something inadvertently, is it good use of tax payer $ to go after him when this justice department and US attorney’s offices are so quick to dismiss cases against Obama cronies who truly have violated major laws and have actually hurt people or attempted to do so. This is a politically motivated prosecution, period.

immigrantchick on February 2, 2010 at 10:15 AM

from the first minute, something about this stunk to the high heavens.

crimiinal government, not big government

notagool on February 2, 2010 at 11:17 AM

–We talked about this last week. If Jim Letten is good friends with the US attorney for the Western District of LA, he would probably want to recuse himself because the son of the Western District US attorney is one of the people charged.

Jimbo3 on February 2, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Yup. ‘zactly.

NTWR on February 2, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Rights for terrorists but not for citizens.

Obama fights Americans but bows to our enemies.

I’m detecting some kind of pattern here.

jukin on February 2, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Letten, US Atty for the Eastern District of Louisiana (NOLA area), is an excellent and honest prosecutor. He has not been shy about prosecuting democrats or any other political flavor, for that matter, if they were/are engaged in criminal conduct. He is a Bush appointee who came up through the ranks as a career prosecutor (state and federal), not a politician. We in NOLA are very happy it looks like he’ll stay on. That seems to be one issue Hurricane Mary has been on the correct side of.

I agree with Jimbo3 that he probably recused himself because one of the accused is the son of the US Atty in the Western District of Louisiana, which covers most of the rest of the state (there is a Middle District, but that’s basically just Baton Rouge–yes, we need a whole dedicated federal district just to deal with our State Gummint, God help us). They are bound to know each other pretty well.

Letten’s assistants and staff are, in my limited knowledge (I do civil work, though I was an ADA long ago), also excellent, honest, and non-political. If only Zero’s AG were of these people’s quality, law abiding citizens could sleep a whole lot easier. Mann, who has taken over the case, is a career prosecutor, spanning D.C. administrations and can be relied on to do what’s right under the law. There’s simply not enough factual information available in the public domain to make any knowledgeable assessment of what that might be at this point.

Ay Uaxe on February 2, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Is it me or is the way Breitbart used the word “frame,”

“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.

…entirely different than the way the media is depicting it…

James 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 told Fox News.

Framing a story and framing a suspect are two entirely different things, no?

Potfry on February 2, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Sorta OT; came home for lunch and had an appeal in the mail from Hannah Giles to help w/her defense fund – seems our friends at ACORN are after her full throttle as well.

thebookkeeper on February 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Framing a story and framing a suspect are two entirely different things, no?

Potfry on February 2, 2010 at 1:16 PM


Ohhh, they know. We know that they know. But, do they know that we know that they know? I doubt they much care.

ConScribe on February 2, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 2