Project Veritas is an American far-right activist group founded by James O’Keefe in 2010. The group produces deceptively edited videos of its undercover operations, which use secret recordings in an effort to discredit mainstream media organizations and progressive groups. Project Veritas also uses entrapment to generate bad publicity for its targets, and has propagated disinformation and conspiracy theories in its videos and operations.
Targets of Project Veritas include Planned Parenthood, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), NPR, CNN, and The Washington Post. In 2009, Project Veritas associates published misleading videos that depicted ACORN employees providing advice on concealing illegal activity, causing ACORN to shut down after losing funding; ACORN was cleared of wrongdoing by the Attorney General of California in 2010, and the associates paid a total of $150,000 in settlements to an ACORN employee who sued for defamation. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned in 2013 after Project Veritas released a deceptively edited video portraying another NPR executive making controversial comments about the Tea Party movement and NPR’s federal funding. Project Veritas unsuccessfully attempted to mislead The Washington Post into publishing false information about the Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations in 2017; the Post won a Pulitzer Prize after uncovering the operation.
As a non-governmental organization, Project Veritas is financed by conservative fund Donors Trust (which provided over $6.6 million from 2011 to 2019) and other supporters including the Donald J. Trump Foundation. In 2020, The New York Times published an exposé detailing Project Veritas’ use of spies recruited by Erik Prince, to infiltrate “Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda”. The Times piece notes O’Keefe’s and Prince’s close links to the Trump administration, and details contributions such as a $1 million transfer of funds from an undisclosed source to support their work. The findings were based in part on discovery documents in a case brought by the American Federation of Teachers, Michigan, which had been infiltrated by Project Veritas.
FBI RAIDS New York apartments linked to Project Veritas in investigation into how Ashley Biden’s personal diary was stolen and published online in the week before the 2020 election
- The FBI searched two homes, one in New York and one in Westchester County
- The addresses were linked to the conservative website Project Veritas
- Founder James O’Keefe confirmed the searches in a video on Friday
- He said Project Veritas received the diary from a ‘tipster’ and they tried to give it back to the first family
- In October, Ashley Biden reported multiple items had been stolen in a burglary
- Trump’s DOJ then launched an investigation under AG Bill Barr
Published: 19:14 GMT, 5 November 2021 | Updated: 18:39 GMT, 6 November 2021
The FBI conducted a raid on the apartment of Project Veritas operative Spencer Meads and the conservative outlet’s Westchester office after it obtained a stolen diary from President Biden’s daughter Ashley in the week before the 2020 election.
Project Veritas did not publish the diary, as founder James O’Keefe said in a video released Friday that the group could not confirm the authenticity of the diary, its belonging to Ashley Biden or that the contents of the diary were truthful.
The investigation, ordered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), was carried out by both federal investigators and federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to the New York Times.
O’Keefe said Project Veritas had been offered the diary by tipsters who said that the then-Democratic candidate’s daughter left it in a room where she stayed and the tipsters stayed after she departed. O’Keefe said that the tipsters said they were shopping it around to other outlets to see who would offer money for it.
O’Keefe then claimed that once they got ahold of the journal, they attempted to return it to an attorney representing Ashley. The attorney refused to authenticate the diary, so he said they then turned it into law enforcement.
But another conservative news site did publish the full 112-page diary, on Oct. 28, 2020, one week before the election. It was largely ignored by media and other conservative news sites that were likely skeptical of its authenticity. The Department of Justice’s involvement, however, boosts the likelihood that the writings are genuinely those of the first daughter.
The website claimed to have obtained the diary from a whistleblower who worked for a media organization that had declined to publish the story.