In September, Project Veritas exposed a ballot harvesting scheme in Minnesota with alleged ties to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The investigative report revealed allegations that harvesters are being paid to collect ballots from seniors and the immigrant community, among other startling revelations. According to Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe, The New York Times responded by calling the Project Veritas report "deceptive," claiming the reporting lacked evidence and relied solely on unidentified sources.
In a video posted to Twitter, O'Keefe called The Times' reporting "libelous" and announced that Project Veritas was taking legal action against the newspaper and political reporter Maggie Astor.
"The reality is your articles were so misinformed and libelous and were published with a clear intent to harm," Project Veritas wrote in a letter to The Times.
"As they say, you can run but you cannot hide," said O'Keefe. "New York Times, you defamed us. We are suing you, we will depose you, we will expose you, and we will win. As you recall, Project Veritas has never lost a lawsuit in our corporate history."
O'Keefe called out other media outlets that repeated The Times' comments and urged the outlets to retract their stories to save themselves trouble and embarrassment.
BREAKING: @Project_Veritas SUES @nytimes for defamation over labeling our videos “deceptive,“ “coordinated disinformation," using “solely unidentified sources” and "no verifiable evidence”— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 30, 2020
Read lawsuit complaint/donate: https://t.co/zwbMtOHbdH#ExposeNYT pic.twitter.com/ZoUCSVTDu6
The investigative report focuses on a senior citizen community targeted in Minneapolis. A source familiar with the community told Project Veritas that as soon as early voting begins ballot harvesters target the elderly. Sources also claimed that people are being paid to cast ballots.
The Project Veritas report identified a ballot harvester named Liban Mohamed who said he was being paid to collect ballots from senior citizens. The report also cited Omar Jamal, chair of the Somali Watchdog Group, who said people like Liban Mohamed are paid to collect absentee ballots from senior citizens and the immigrant community.
O'Keefe points out that The New York Times has quoted Jamal in at least ten different articles while reporting on matters relating to the Somali community.
Jamal went into detail about the ballot harvesting scheme he says is being conducted on behalf of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has become a major power broker within the party and Omar's campaign manager, Ali Isse Gainey, was identified by one source in the report as being involved in the scheme.
"It’s an open secret," Jamal said. "[Omar] will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that."
Minnesota law prohibits a person from paying somebody to vote or to register to vote. The crime is also punishable under federal law. Minnesota also has a statute against inducing or persuading somebody to vote for or against a candidate while transporting voters to the polls.