Last Saturday, FBI officials searched the home of Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe as part of a probe into the purchase of a diary supposedly written by President Joe Biden's daughter Ashley. The New York Times published a piece on Thursday, less than a week after the raid, claiming to have gotten "internal data" from Project Veritas' attorney.
After the FBI raided the homes of two former Project Veritas operatives last week, the conservative group's head, James O'Keefe, took to YouTube to defend his organization's work as "the stuff of responsible, ethical journalism."
FBI searched Project Veritas founder's house over Ashley Biden's missing diary
Internal papers acquired by The New York Times illustrate the extent to which Project Veritas has labored with its attorneys to determine how far its misleading reporting techniques may go before they run afoul of federal regulations.
The documents, which are a series of memos written by Project Veritas' lawyer, detail how the group's sting operations - which typically deviate from standard journalistic practice by using people who mask their real identities or create fake ones to infiltrate target organizations - avoid breaking federal statutes like the law against lying to government officials.
The records provide additional insight into the group's operations at a time when it is facing possible legal repercussions as a result of the diary probe - and has indicated that part of its defense would be based on portraying itself as a First Amendment-protected journalistic entity.
As part of the investigation into the purported theft of Ashley Biden's diary, the FBI searched the residences of O'Keefe and two former Project Veritas operatives, Eric Cochran and Spencer Meads, last week. In the lawsuit, O'Keefe has admitted receiving a grand jury subpoena.
The legal filings obtained by The New York Times were prepared some years ago, when Project Veritas was transitioning from a modest operation with a shoestring budget to something more comparable to a small intelligence collection agency.
James O'Keefe in state of "shock" over New York home raid
During Trump's presidency, the organization received a slew of fresh funding from both individual donors and conservative foundations, and employed former American and British intelligence and military operators to train Project Veritas personnel in spycraft.
Per Daily Mail, FBI officials searched Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe's New York home on Saturday in connection with a stolen diary allegedly belonging to President Joe Biden's daughter Ashley. The handwritten diary was not published by Project Veritas because O'Keefe stated in a video posted Friday that the group couldn't confirm the journal's authenticity, that it belonged to Ashley Biden, or that the contents of the diary were true.
The diary was discovered by Project Veritas only a week before the 2020 Presidential Election and was leaked to a right-wing website just days before the election. It claims to have gotten the diary from a "tipster" who got it after staying at a place where Ashley Biden had previously been.
Project Veritas describes itself as a non-profit journalistic organization that employs undercover operations to uncover mainstream media bias against conservatives. Both federal detectives and federal prosecutors in Manhattan worked on the inquiry, which was mandated by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
James O'Keefe had his first interview on "Hannity" since the FBI searched his house on Saturday morning as part of a federal inquiry into President Biden's daughter Ashley Biden's missing diary. O'Keefe said he was "shocked" when FBI officers searched his residence for nearly two hours, telling Hannity they stole two of his iPhones, Fox News reported.
Project Veritas paid money to the tipsters who had received Ashley Biden's diary for the "right to publish the information," which the guerrilla news outlet never did and subsequently sent the material over to "local law enforcement," according to Paul Calli, O'Keefe's attorney.