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Misdemeanor plea by James O'Keefe in Landrieu phone case

Fox News reporter Eric Shawn reports that videographer James O'Keefe's legal nightmare over accusations of phone tampering in a senator's office will end with a misdemeanor plea. O'Keefe is known for his hidden-camera exposé targeting ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

Originally, O’Keefe faced much more potentially serious charges. At the time of the arrests, the U.S. Attorney’s office claimed O’Keefe and three others [acting suspiciously in Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) district office] were in the process "of committing a felony." But federal prosecutors never made the supposed "felony” clear, and the lesser misdemeanor plea of entering federal property “under false pretenses” is expected to spare O'Keefe and his co-defendants any jail time.

When the news of the phone-tampering allegations broke, the response from liberal-leaning reporters was volcanic -- at the time, I used O'Keefe's mistake to explain just how the conservative journalism network worked. At the time, leaders in that network distanced themselves from O'Keefe, saying he'd apparently crossed a line. I'm interested to see how and if he is welcomed back into the movement.

Also, it's really a sign of what a huge story this was that Shawn -- a reporter who owns the United Nations beat for Fox -- was assigned to O'Keefe.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Conservatives  
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