Non-Profit Demands Independent Prosecutor Be Appointed to Investigate and Prosecute Attempted Phone Tampering of Senator Mary Landrieu's Office

Jan 28, 2010, 09:34 ET from

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Monday, January 25, 2010, four people were arrested while attempting to illegally trespass and tamper with the government phones of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu in New Orleans. Officials are calling this "Louisiana's Watergate." Among those arrested is Robert Flanagan, the son of a Louisiana United States Attorney, and conservative activist James O'Keefe, who last summer illegally filmed staffers at ACORN offices in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mr. O'Keefe is being sued in civil court by ACORN for those violations, and he is under criminal investigation by state law enforcement authorities. Shortly after O'Keefe's illegal conduct involving ACORN, 31 GOP Members of Congress signed onto a resolution supporting his criminal activities.

Velvet Revolution, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to honest and accountable government, believes that justice can only be served by a complete investigation into this illegal wiretapping operation by an independent prosecutor with no ties to Louisiana. Clearly, having the son of a U.S. Attorney charged in this case along with an activist who has been heralded by the GOP for engaging in illegal surveillance for political purposes underscores the need for an investigation by someone who cannot be accused of having a political agenda. The American public deserves an investigation that will dig deep into this case by looking at the motives behind those charged, who financed the illegal wiretapping operation, whether this case is part of a pattern of illegal conduct, whether there are co-conspirators, and whether those charged were acting on orders from others. In the ACORN case, Mr. O'Keefe went to many different ACORN offices to conduct illegal secret taping of staff. We now need to know whether Mr. O'Keefe or others associated with him have already illegally wiretapped the offices of other Senators or Representatives.

There have been post arrest statements made by Mr. O'Keefe and attorneys for the accused attempting to minimize or justify their conduct as a prank, a setup, a legitimate journalistic investigation, or simply poor judgment. These must be rejected and the truth laid bare. From all indications, it appears that this was an illegal, coordinated, intentional attack on a sitting United States Senator for raw political purposes. No amount of spin can undermine the fact that those charged knowingly committed felonies to undermine our democracy. When the Watergate burglars were arrested, the investigation by the special prosecutor led all the way up to the President and his entire inner circle. Americans need to know the truth here and to have confidence in the results. This can only be achieved by the appointment of an independent prosecutor.

Velvet Revolution is a non partisan organization with over 150 affiliates representing more than a million members.