According to the FBI affidavit, Flanagan and Basel entered the federal building at 500 Poydras Street about 11 a.m. Monday, dressed as telephone
company employees, wearing jeans, fluorescent green vests, tool belts, and hard hats. When they arrived at Landrieu’s 10th floor office, O’Keefe was
already in the office and had told a staffer he was waiting for someone to arrive.
When Flanagan and Basel entered the office, they told the staffer they were there to fix phone problems. At that time, the staffer, referred to only as Witness 1 in the affadavit, observed O’Keefe positioning his cell phone in his hand to videotape the operation. O’Keefe later admitted to agents that he recorded the event. After being asked, the staffer gave Basel access to the main phone at the reception desk. The staffer told investigators that Basel manipulated the handset. He also tried to call the main office phone using his cell phone, and
said the main line wasn’t working. Flanagan did the same.
They then told the staffer they needed to perform repair work on the main phone system and asked where the telephone closet was located. The staffer showed the men to the main General Services Administration office on the 10th floor, and both went in. There, a GSA employee asked for the men’s credentials, after which they stated they left them in their vehicle.
Here are the two statutes cited in the affidavit, incidentally: Sections1036 and 1362 of Title 18. The former, entering federal property under false pretenses, is clear cut, which is probably why the four allegedly already admitted to it. The more serious charge is section 1362:
Whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any of the works, property,
or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone or cable, line, station, or
system, or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United
States, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions
of the United States, whether constructed or in process of construction, or
willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or use of any
such line, or system, or willfully or maliciously obstructs, hinders, or delays
the transmission of any communication over any such line, or system, or attempts
or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
not more than ten years, or both.