STATEMENT OF STATE’S ATTORNEYS OFFICE FOR BALTIMORE CITY RELATIVE TO THE ALLEGED BALTIMORE ACORN INCIDENT
Baltimore, MD – September 11, 2009 – We have received inquiries from citizens and the media asking whether the Baltimore City State’s Attorneys Office would initiate a criminal investigation for acts allegedly committed at ACORN offices located in Baltimore. The only information received in reference to this alleged criminal behavior was a YouTube video. Upon review by this office, the video appears to be incomplete. In addition, the audio portion could possibly have been obtained in violation of Maryland Law, Annotated Code of Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article §10-402, which requires two party consent.
If it is determined that the audio portion now being heard on YouTube was illegally obtained, it is also illegal under Maryland Law to willfully use or willfully disclose the content of said audio. The penalty for the unlawful interception, disclosure or use of it is a felony punishable up to 5 years.
The Maryland state prosecutor's office went after Linda Tripp in the 1990s on two wiretap charges. Tripp was accused of illegally taping a phone conversation with Monica Lewinsky about her relationship with then-President Bill Clinton and disclosing the conversation to Newsweek. Prosecutors decided to drop the case when Lewinsky's testimony was suppressed.
The video was shot by film maker James O'Keefe, who posed as a pimp who said he was going to run for Congress. The video also featured a 20 year old woman who posed as a woman named "Kenya."
The video appears both on You Tube and on the Web site of Andrew Breitbart, a columnist for the Washington Times and Drudge Report. (see full story here)