Project Veritas legal team tears down DOJ’s raid by O’Keefe as ‘sucker punch’ for free press, praises unlikely allies

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe’s legal team blew up the government for a “sucker punch for the first amendment”, praising unlikely allies and mainstream journalists who have questioned whether the Justice Department surrendered by attacking O’Keefe and his staff home.

The FBI allegedly raided O’Keefe and some staff on November 6 because of the alleged diary belonging to President Biden’s daughter Ashley Biden, which ended up in the hands of Project Veritas last fall, though the organization decided not to publish it and turned it over. for law enforcement.

A selection of prominent organizations, journalists and news media, including the ACLU and Washington Post’s media critic Erik Wemple, have since come to the defense of Project Veritas, a conservative group that would typically not receive support from corporate media. Fox News Digital reached out to O’Keefe to ask about being defended by unlikely allies, and Project Veritas founder directed the question to his legal team.

ACLU WARNS ABOUT ‘PRECEDENCE’ SET BY DOJ RAID OF PROJECT VERITAS: ‘SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES’

Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas in July 2021.

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas in July 2021.
(Brandon Bell / Getty Images, fil)

“The government’s raids of Project Veritas’ former journalists and founding journalist James O’Keefe were a sneak peek at the first amendment, which was intended to have a cooling effect on a free press,” lawyer Paul Calli told Fox News Digital.

“The government failed, and we welcome the strong response from the ACLU, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of Freedom of Press, First Amendment advocates and journalists in the mainstream corporate press, to condemn the government’s actions,” Calli continued. “History will judge those who agree on the first amendment on the right.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned Sunday of the potential consequences of the raids.

“Project Veritas has engaged in disgraceful deception, and sensible observers may not consider their activities journalism at all,” the ACLU said in a statement. announcement. “Nevertheless, the precedent in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom.”

Project Veritas, which portrays itself as a whistleblower watchdog group, has previously released hidden camera footage of network news producers and other public figures making statements while unaware that they were being filmed. As a result of its tactics, some critics do not view the organization as a real journalistic garment – but the ACLU does not feel it is a reason to loot the homes of O’Keefe and staff.

Media watchdogs have come to the defense of Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe after the Justice Department raided his home.  (REUTERS / Andrew Kelly, file)

Media watchdogs have come to the defense of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe after the Justice Department raided his home. (REUTERS / Andrew Kelly, file)

“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,” the ACLU continued. “We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement authorities review only those materials that are lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a lawful criminal investigation.”

Many others have also rushed to Project Veritas’ defense.

WASHINGTON ASKS MEDIA CRITICIANS QUESTIONS IF REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE IN RAIDING PROJECT VERITAS

Politico quoted law professor Jane Kirtley of the University of Minnesota, a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, as describing the raids as “equally convincing.”

She continued: “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 it’s wrong.”

The Justice Department claimed it “complied with all applicable rules and policies regarding potential members of the news media during the course of this investigation,” but Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Has asked for evidence.

“I’m sorry, but this is worrying from a press freedom perspective – unless & until the DOJ releases evidence that Protect Veritas was directly involved in the theft. Because if there is none, then the raids could very well be a violation of the Privacy Act, “Director of the Press Freedom Foundation Trevor Timm recently tweeted.

Project Veritas once confronted CNN media expert Brian Stelter to ask him about a series of secretly recorded videos featuring a CNN technical director discussing how his employer manipulates coverage to fit its liberal agenda.

Project Veritas once confronted CNN media expert Brian Stelter to ask him about a series of secretly recorded videos featuring a CNN technical director discussing how his employer manipulates coverage to fit its liberal agenda.

Wemple agreed, writing a Washington Post post on Tuesday that raised the question of whether the Justice Department handed over the raid. An opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal stated that the Department of Justice “had better have good reason to seize a journalist’s records”, calling the move an “abuse of civil liberties”.

The Journalists ‘Protection Committee said the government handed over and the Press Freedom Journalists’ Committee wanted the court to repeal documents related to the court ruling.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity about the raid last week, O’Keefe said: “I heard ‘the process is the punishment’. I did not really understand what it meant until this weekend. And Sean, I would not want that. here to any journalist. “

O’Keefe said he was “in a state of shock” when FBI agents spent over two hours searching his apartment and told Hannity they were taking two of his iPhones.

Fox News’ Jon Brown and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Give a Comment