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Conservatives arrested in 'Louisiana Watergate'

Four men with ties to US conservatives have been arrested for allegedly trying to tap the telephones of a prominent Democratic senator in a case dubbed the "Louisiana Watergate".

The FBI said that two of the men entered the New Orleans offices of Mary Landrieu, posing as phone workers and wearing hard hats, tool belts and green fluorescent vests.

What makes the case so intriguing is what motivated the men, all young conservative activists, to target Ms Landrieu, amid speculation that they might have been trying to dig up damaging information about her.

Ms Landrieu said: "I am as interested as everyone about their motives and purpose." According to an FBI affidavit, two of the men, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, entered the offices posing as telephone workers. James O'Keefe was waiting for them in the lobby area. A fourth man, Stan Dai, was arrested close by.

They were charged with entering federal property under false pretences to commit a felony, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 (€178,000) fine. (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent