Federal agents searched the New York homes of people tied to Project Veritas, according to founder James O’Keefe on Friday.
In a video posted to Project Veritas’ YouTube, O’Keefe said his organization obtained a grand jury subpoena before saying that current and former Project Veritas employees’ homes were searched by federal agents.
“Apartment and homes of Project Veritas journalists and former journalists had been raided by FBI agents,” he said, adding that it appears the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is targeting the group.
Additionally, O’Keefe said that a Project Veritas associate was contacted shortly after the FBI search by a New York Times reporter, despite the grand jury subpoena being issued in secret.
“Within an hour of one of our reporters’ homes being secretly raided by the FBI … the New York Times contacted the reporter to ask for comment,” O’Keefe said, adding that “we do not know how” the NY Times reporter obtained information about the search warrant or the subject matter. Project Veritas sued the newspaper for defamation last year.
In November 2020, Project Veritas sued the New York Times for libel, claiming the paper’s coverage of a Veritas video was incorrect and was partially driven by NY Times reporters’ resentment. Lawyers for the newspaper filed its defense in April 2021, denying most of the allegations.
An FBI spokesman told The Associated Press that agents had conducted a “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at an apartment in Manhattan and an address in Mamaroneck in Westchester County, New York. The spokesman did not appear to comment on whether the searches were linked to Project Veritas.
The Epoch Times contacted the FBI for comment.
In 2020, Project Veritas was contacted by individuals who claimed to have obtained a copy of a diary belonging to Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden’s youngest daughter, O’Keefe said in the video. Tipsters alleged that the diary was found “abandoned in a room” after she left and that the diary contained “explosive allegations against then-candidate Joe Biden,” O’Keefe said.
Project Veritas’ lawyers, he continued, were in contact with the Department of Justice before the searches were carried out. Their lawyers told federal agents that they had “conveyed unassailable facts that demonstrate Project Veritas’ lack of involvement in criminal activity and/or criminal intent,” O’Keefe also said.
“Like any reporter, we regularly deal with the receipt of source information and take steps to verify its authenticity, legality, and newsworthiness. 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 added.
O’Keefe said Project Veritas could not determine the authenticity of the diary and tried to return it to one of Ashley Biden’s attorneys, but the lawyer “refused to authenticate it.” The organization instead gave it “law enforcement to ensure it could be returned to its rightful owner” and “never published it,” he 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,” he alleged.