Admitted Lawbreaker James O'Keefe Skips NH GOP Gala Sunday to Avoid Attorney General's Subpoena
CONCORD - New Hampshire Republicans should demand that their friend James O'Keefe return to New Hampshire to answer the questions of a grand jury, said Raymond Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
"Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith, Frank Guinta and state Republican leaders were eager to stand with O'Keefe this weekend. If, as they claim, he did not do anything wrong, shouldn't Republican leaders be equally enthusiastic for O'Keefe to answer questions before the grand jury?" Buckley asked. "Does Kelly Ayotte, who served as Attorney General and is now angling to be a Vice Presidential candidate, support James O'Keefe's evasions of Hampshire's legal system? "
O'Keefe, a convicted lawbreaker, cancelled his appearance at a GOP fundraiser in Rye at the last minute when he was told that by setting foot in New Hampshire, he could face a grand jury subpoena to explain his actions in January, when his associates allegedly requested the primary ballots of deceased Granite State voters, including that of a U.S. Navy veteran who passed away only 10 days earlier. O'Keefe appeared via video in front of a large, paying GOP audience that included Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and Frank Guinta.
On January 10, 2012, O'Keefe's associates videotaped their attempts to obtain the ballots of deceased New Hampshire residents, including that of a U.S. Navy veteran who died only 10 days earlier. His widow called the stunt "awful." [Boston Herald, 1/12/12] Republican Mayor of Manchester Ted Gatsas said that O'Keefe's associates "should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." [Union Leader, 1/12/12].
"Republicans were more than happy to defend O'Keefe's visit when he was going to raise money for them at a private party, so where are they now that the Attorney General's office is trying to conduct its investigation - an investigation called for by the Republican Mayor of Manchester," Buckley said. "Will they call on James O'Keefe to return to New Hampshire and answer law enforcement's questions?"
In order to leave New Jersey and visit New Hampshire, O'Keefe must first gain court approval, a condition of his 2010 guilty plea to charges of entering U.S. property under false pretenses when he and three others tried to infiltrate U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's office to tamper with her telephone system. O'Keefe received three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine [NYT, 7/27/11; The Hill, 5/26/10; NYT, 1/26/10].