Using Facebook Live With MD Congressional Staffer Ends In Charges

A Randallstown man has been charged with illegal wiretapping after he recorded a meeting with a staffer of Congressman Andy Harris on Facebook Live, according to the state prosecutor. The man was an advocate from Maryland Marijuana Justice who had been rallying in front of Harris’s office in Salisbury with a group of students from Salisbury University, officials said.

Jake Burdett, of the 4200 block of Mary Ridge Drive in Randallstown, has been charged with illegal wiretapping and illegal distribution of a recording.

According to prosecutors, a congressional staffer who worked for Harris offered to meet inside his office building with those demonstrating.

When they got inside, staffers noticed several people on their phones and told them that recording in the office was against office policy, according to officials. Burdett streamed the meeting on Facebook Live without getting consent, prosecutors allege.

“We need to ensure people are respecting boundaries set by Maryland’s wiretapping laws,” State Prosecutor Emmett Davis said in a statement.

According to Davis, the case was referred to his office by the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Burdett told the Salisbury Times that it seemed “odd that we, as citizens and constituents, are not allowed to record conversations with paid staffers by public officials in a taxpayer-funded space.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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