Sen. Mary Landrieu is blasting the men charged with tampering with the phones at her New Orleans office, dismissing a new explanation from the attorney of one of the men as “feeble.”
“Senator Landrieu believes this feeble explanation is a clear and calculated effort to divert attention away from the fact that his client stands accused of a federal crime that could land him in prison for up to 10 years,” said Landrieu Press Secretary Rob Sawicki, in a statement to TPMmuckraker.Sawicki added: “The fact remains that they perpetrated a false identity scheme on building security by posing as telephone workers and attempted to manipulate the phones in her office. The only people these four individuals have embarrassed are themselves and their families.”
Garrison Jordan, the attorney for Robert Flanagan, told the AP today that his client and the three other men charged in the case were trying to embarrass Landrieu by somehow documenting charges that her staff was ignoring calls from constituents opposed to health care reform.
Jordan told the New York Times the episode “was just an ill-designed stunt with no intent to commit a crime.”
The men, including filmmaker James O’Keefe’, are charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony — “maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States of America.”
The affidavit alleges that Flanagan and Joseph Basel, dressed as repairmen, asked a Landrieu staffer to direct them to the phone closet after purportedly testing the office phone. When they arrived at the General Services Administration office in the same building, they were denied access to the phone closet after being asked for ID.
Landrieu told the Times today that her staff, skeptical about the men’s lack of identification, walked Flanagan and Basel to the GSA office.