A New York judge laid down the hammer on The New York Times by temporarily blocking the newspaper from publishing articles about internal documents from Project Veritas, which sued the newspaper for defamation last year. Project Veritas is a conservative media organization.
Westchester Supreme Court Justice Charles Wood’s ruling comes after a story last week by The Times published details from internal Project Veritas documents. A lawyer for Project Veritas suggested federal authorities leaked these documents to the Times after obtaining them during Department of Justice raids of three Project Veritas journalists’ homes earlier this month.
The DOJ claims the raids were part of an investigation into a diary by a Joe Biden family member. Project Veritas head James O’Keefe says his organization was offered the diary but decided not to report on it after an internal investigation.
The conservative media organization says it gave the diary to law enforcement and denied having anything to do with its publication by another right-wing site. Project Veritas said the Times “circumvented” the lawsuit’s official discovery process and called the decision to publish the letters “a bare and vindictive attempt to harm and embarrass a litigation adversary by completely disregarding the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship.”
According to a statement from Executive Editor Dean Baquet, The Times plans to challenge the ruling.
“This ruling is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent. When a court silences journalism, it fails its citizens and undermines their right to know. The Supreme Court made that clear in the Pentagon Papers case, a landmark ruling against prior restraint blocking the publication of newsworthy journalism. That principle clearly applies here. We are seeking an immediate review of this decision,” Baquet wrote.
The order prohibits the Times from publishing “any of Project Veritas’ privileged materials” until Woods rules in a hearing set for Nov. 23. Reagan Reese is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Hillsdale College studying rhetoric and public address and journalism. She plays on the varsity softball team and you can follow her on Twitter @reaganreese_.