The FBI raided the residence of James O’Keefe, the founder of the activist media platform Project Veritas, as part of its ongoing investigation linked to the theft of a diary belonging to Ashley Biden, President Biden’s daughter, The New York Times reported.
Over the years, Project Veritas has gained considerable following for publishing sting operations using hidden cameras and hiding identities particularly focussed on exposing the 'bias' and 'agenda' of activists, politicians and journalists supportive of ruling Democrats. Big tech firms and their alleged collusion with political establishment has also been recurring theme of the outfit's investigation.
Critics have often accused it of propagating disinformation and conspiracy theories in its videos and operations.
In a video posted on the media outfit's website, O’Keefe said his organisation had received a grand jury subpoena and said current and former Project Veritas employees had their homes searched by federal agents.
O’Keefe disclosed that journalists belonging to his organisation were contacted late last year by “tipsters” claiming to have a copy of Ashley Biden’s diary. The tipsters indicated the diary had been “abandoned in a room” after she left the room, O’Keefe said, adding that the tipsters said the diary had “explosive allegations against then-candidate Joe Biden.”
"The tipsters indicated that they were negotiating with a different media outlet for the payment of monies for the diary.” he further added.
“At the end of the day, we made the ethical decision that because, in part, we could not determine if the diary was real, if the diary in fact belonged to Ashley Biden, or if the contents of the diary occurred, we could not publish the diary and any part thereof.”
O’Keefe said that U.S Department of Justice placed an unusual request not to disclose the existence of the subpoena. However the residence of the reporters belonging to outfit were raided within a hour of the request.
"The New York Times, who we are currently suing for defamation, contacted the Project Veritas 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." he added
O’Keefe said his group turned the diary over to an attorney for Ashely Biden and also provided it to law enforcement agency. However handwritten pages from the diary made its way in to few right-wing websites.
O’Keefe also asserted that journalists from the outfit were being targeted despite doing their jobs “lawfully and honestly.”
"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.
"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 said.
U.S Department of Justice began investigating the matter after a Biden family rep reported a number of Ashley’s belongings had been stolen in a burglary
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