Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ACORN says that Hannah Giles and pal O'Keefe committed a felony; videotaping pair seems confident of large defense fund from conservatives

A lawsuit filed by ACORN?

“Bring it on,” secret videotaper James O’Keefe said on Fox News. It sounds like he's already got a large war chest to help him get away with a crime.

See detailed analysis of transcript of Juan Carlos Vera/Giles/O'Keefe.

ACORN mulls suit against Fox News

Facing intensifying scrutiny after the release of several disturbing hidden camera videos, the community organizing group, ACORN, is threatening to sue Fox News, the website Breitbart.com and the two conservative activists who produced the exposes.

ACORN is alleging that the filmmakers committed a felony by shooting the footage of ACORN employees in the act of providing advice on how to falsify tax forms and set-up a child prostitution business—to a man and a woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute.

A lawyer for ACORN said Monday that statutes in Maryland and the District of Columbia made the undercover filming illegal and that the same laws should prohibit the rebroadcast of the tapes by the Web site BigGovernment.com, where they were first posted last week, and on Fox News, which aired clips of the videos.

BigGovernment.com, which launched last Wednesday, is a project of Andrew Breitbart, the founder of Breitbart.com. The videos show James O’Keefe, a conservative activist, and Hannah Giles, who is listed as a contributor on the right-leaning website, TownHall.com, visiting ACORN offices in Baltimore and Brooklyn and an ACORN Housing Corporation branch in Washington, D.C.

“It is clear that the videos are doctored, edited, and in no way the result of the fabricated story being portrayed by conservative activist ‘filmmaker’ O’Keefe and his partner in crime,’ ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis said in a statement over the weekend. “And, in fact, a crime it was—our lawyers believe a felony—and we will be taking legal action against Fox and their co-conspirators.”

After the videos surfaced two ACORN employees in Baltimore and two others at the Washington office of the off-shoot housing corporation, a separate organization, were fired.

“I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video,” Lewis said in her statement. She added that the “scam,” was also attempted but failed at other ACORN offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia.

Breitbart said Monday that the release of a new video from Brooklyn disproved ACORN’s claims that the activists made failed attempts in other cities.

“ACORN was wrong in their initial defense that it succeeded in only one place because obviously it worked in a second and third place,” he said. “Their defense is as hapless as the behavior witnessed on those videos. This is clearly an organization in internal turmoil over James and Hannah’s exposure. The longer that the mainstream media ignores this massive story, the more that ACORN has to accumulate data in order to form a line of attack to annihilate the messenger.”

Arthur Schwartz, a lawyer for ACORN, said he planned to file a lawsuit in federal court in Baltimore on Thursday against O’Keefe and Giles that would “probably” also include Breitbart.com and Fox News...

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27139.html#ixzz0Rs6AuekK

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