NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting that the four men arrested Monday for tampering with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s phones in her downtown New Orleans office were not trying to wiretap the phones, but “wanted to see how her local office staff would respond if the phones were inoperative.”
Williams’ attributed the information to a law enforcement official. The group of men were led by conservative videomaker James O’Keefe, who once duped the organization ACORN by posing as a pimp.
Authorities charged that O’Keefe, using his cellphone, videotaped two other men who entered the office posing as phone repairmen, who were trying to tamper with the phones.
The U.S. Marshals office arrested them.
Williams wrote that “they were apparently motivated, the official says, by criticism that when Sen. Landrieu became a big player in the health care debate, people in Louisiana were having a hard time getting through on the phones to register their views.”