This is pretty much how the ACORN scandal should have gone – with the actual criminal in the case being arrested for a crime. Better late than never.

The FBI, alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in downtown New Orleans, arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the advocacy group’s credibility.

FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes alleges that O’Keefe aided and abetted two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, who dressed up as employees of a telephone company and attempted to interfere with the office’s telephone system.

A fourth person, Stan Dai, was accused of aiding and abetting Basel and Flanagan. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

A witness from Landrieu’s staff said O’Keefe was present in the office and claimed to be “waiting for someone to arrive.”

O’Keefe was the guy who dressed up as a pimp and infiltrated ACORN offices, illegally (in some states) taping them and selectively editing the footage to “prove” that ACORN employees were aiding and abetting the commission of tax fraud and other crimes. ACORN was later found to have committed no crimes, but the same may not be able to be said for O’Keefe.

I guess the ends justify the means in this kind of “investigative” reporting.

Radio silence so far on this from the right.

UPDATE: Politico snagged the arrest report. As I Tweeted, do you think that O’Keefe will wind up with a radio show like Gordon Liddy, or an evangelical ministry like Chuck Colson?

David Dayen

David Dayen

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