Project Veritas Gets Unlikely Support from Liberal Group After FBI Raids

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Posted: Nov 15, 2021 8:10 AM
Project Veritas Gets Unlikely Support from Liberal Group After FBI Raids

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

After the FBI raided the homes of Project Veritas reporters and founder James O’Keefe over an alleged diary belonging to Ashley Biden, the group is getting some unlikely support from those concerned about the Biden administration’s assault on the First Amendment. 

While expressing their objections to Project Veritas’s work, the ACLU on Sunday released a statement nevertheless discussing how “this case could have serious consequences for press freedom.”

“Project Veritas has engaged in disgraceful deceptions, and reasonable observers might not consider their activities to be journalism at all. Nevertheless, the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom. Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures. We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement officers review only those materials that were lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a legitimate criminal investigation.” (ACLU)

Politico also ran a report titled “FBI raid on Project Veritas founder’s home sparks questions about press freedom.” 

That [diary] made it into the hands of O’Keefe’s organization, Project Veritas, which never published anything on the subject and eventually turned the document over to police.

An ensuing federal investigation resulted in the FBI raid on O’Keefe’s home in Westchester County, N.Y., at 6 a.m. last Saturday to seize his cell phones pursuant to a court order. O’Keefe says he stood handcuffed in his underwear in a hallway as almost a dozen agents — one carrying a battering ram — searched for the phones.

The politically fraught episode is shaping up as an early test of the vows from Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland to show greater respect for the media and to back away from the confrontational, often hostile approach favored by former President Donald Trump and his administration.

“This is just beyond belief,” said University of Minnesota law professor Jane Kirtley, a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “I’m not a big fan of Project Veritas, but this is just over the top. I hope they get a serious reprimand from the court because I think this is just wrong.” (Politico)

Questions have also been raised from GWU law professor Jonathan Turley and The New York Post about the FBI’s raids, with the latter saying the feds’ actions have “all the marks of a political vendetta.”

O'Keefe explained they were tipped off about the diary in question but since they could not verify it belonged to Ashley Biden, they never published anything about it and eventually handed it over to police. 

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