Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe offered a blistering response to the reported FBI raids that have been conducted against associates of the guerilla news outlet over the missing diary of President Biden‘s daughter.
The New York Times broke the story on Friday that Biden’s DOJ searched two locations in New York in search of a “stolen” diary that belonged to Ashley Biden that went missing just days before the 2020 presidential election.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
“In recent weeks, federal investigators have reached out to at least one person who worked for Project Veritas to question that person about the diary, one of the people briefed on the case said,” the Times reported.
O’Keefe confirmed the Times’ reporting, releasing a video message addressing his group’s apparent ties to the diary and declaring “Project Veritas came under attack.”
“I woke to the news that apartments and homes of Project Veritas journalists, or former journalists, had been raided by FBI agents,” O’Keefe began. “It appears the Southern District of New York now has journalists in their sights for the supposed crime of doing their jobs lawfully and honestly, or at least this journalist.”
O’Keefe alleged that “within an hour” of the FBI’s raid of the home of a Project Veritas reporter, the Times contacted that reporter for comment.
“We do not know how the New York Times was aware of the execution of a search warrant at our reporter’s home or the subject matter of the search warrant as a grand jury investigation is secret,” O’Keefe said. “The FBI took materials of current, former Project Veritas journalists despite the fact that our legal team previously contacted the Department of Justice and voluntarily conveyed unassailable facts that demonstrate Project Veritas’ lack of involvement in criminal activity, and or criminal intent.”
“Our efforts were the stuff of responsible ethical journalism, and we are in no doubt that Project Veritas acted properly at each and every step,” O’Keefe asserted.
“Project Veritas gave the diary to law enforcement to ensure it could be returned to its rightful owner. We never published it,” O’Keefe said. “Now, Ms. Biden’s father’s Department of Justice, specifically the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, appears to be investigating the situation, claiming the diary was stolen. We don’t know if it was but it begs the question: In what world is the alleged theft of a diary investigated by the President’s FBI and his Department of Justice? A diary?”
O’Keefe went on to claim the investigation “smacks of politics” but that Project Veritas will “not back down.”
The Project Veritas founder then explained that “tipsters” approached his group late last year alleging to have Ashley Biden’s diary containing “explosive allegations” about her father, then the Democratic nominee, and that the diary was allegedly abandoned in a room that she had stayed at and that they stayed after.
The “tipsters,” who O’Keefe said he had never met prior, were apparently negotiating with media outlets to sell Biden’s diary and that ultimately, Project Veritas did not publish the book’s contents because his group was not able to independently verify its authenticity.
Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett appeared on “Hannity” Friday and stressed there’s a “huge difference” between what Ashley Biden’s attorney has alleged that her diary was stolen versus what O’Keefe alleged about it being left behind in a room, saying “one’s a crime and the other one isn’t.”
“Project Veritas did the right thing,” Jarrett told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “They didn’t publish this because they couldn’t verify the authenticity of the documents, but the other conservative website did publish it but they claimed they did verify it. What is so bewildering about this is why in the world would the feds even involved in it.”
Jarrett insisted that even if the diary was the subject of a theft, it would be a “state crime” rather than a federal crime and that the investigation, which allegedly began under Attorney General William Barr, has become an “enormous conflict of interest” with President Biden now in office.
“A journalist cannot be criminally prosecuted for publishing stolen material unless the journalist himself or herself is involved in the theft. There’s no indication of that,” Garrett said. “And the same is true of leaked classified information. Journalists have never been prosecuted for that, although the leakers have when they’re identified. So we don’t know a whole lot about this story, but it’s deeply troubling. They would barge into the homes of two journalists armed with a search warrant signed off by a federal judge and the Department of Justice, presided over by Joe Biden, this smacks of a political investigation and potential prosecution.”