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A Bizarre Watergate-Like Caper: 4 People Including Son of Acting U.S. Attorney Busted for Tampering with La. Sen. Landrieu’s Office Phones

Sen. Landrieu/gov photo

Sen. Landrieu/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a bizarre incident that had a vintage Watergate feel about it, the FBI on Monday busted the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in Shreveport, La. and three other people for tampering with the phones of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in her downtown New Orleans office, federal authorities announced on Tuesday.

An FBI affidavit did not specifically say the men were trying to tap the phones, but some media reports did. But there’s no indication that bugging was involved and it’s unclear what their mission was.

The Associated Press reported that conservative activist James O’Keefe, 25, who once posed as a pimp to target the community group ACORN, was in Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up dressed like phone repairmen claiming they were there to work on the phones . Flanagan is the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan.

Flanagan and Basel then asked for access to a reception desk phone and the phone closet, according to the news service  and an FBI affidavit. And O”Keefe videotaped the two men on his cellphone, authorities said.

U.S. Marshals arrested the men. A fourth man, Stan Dai, 24, was also arrested, the AP reported, saying he was allegedly involved in the planning of the scheme.

Authorities did not say why the men were tampering with the phones.

Read New Orleans Times-Picayune Story


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