Who is James O'Keefe?
James O’Keefe founded Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action after he had pulled off some of the most consequential undercover journalism coups in a generation, so he could have an organization dedicated to reviving the craft of undercover journalism. These two organizations are non-profits dedicated to investigating corruption, dishonesty, waste and fraud in public institutions and the private sector.
The undercover journalism O’Keefe has pioneered at Project Veritas relies on the most modern digital and video technology infused with the legacy of the great investigative journalists of the past, such as Nellie Bly, Mike Wallace, Gunter Wallraff and Woodward and Bernstein.
Today, O’Keefe and Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action continue to seek the same opportunities first motivated him as a Rutgers undergraduate philosophy major. At Rutgers, he founded an independent campus newspaper called The Centurion.
In 2007, O’Keefe and Lila Rose recorded Planned Parenthood staffers
ready to accept a donation from O’Keefe would only be used to abort African-America children and working with Rose, pretending to be a pregnant 15-year-old, to conceal her age, so Planned Parenthood could abort her child without reporting to the police what would be a prima facie statutory rape case.
O’Keefe first walked on the national stage in 2009. At the suggestion of Hannah Giles, she and O’Keefe went into offices of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, purporting to be a pimp with his prostitute. Using camera hidden in O’Keefe’s necktie, they recorded the staffers in ACORN offices around the country explain to them how to lie on tax and welfare forms, bury cash in a tin box underground and how to declare the underage Salvadoran females O’Keefe claimed to be trafficking into the U.S. to become prostitutes as his dependents.
Working with Andrew Breitbart, a friend and mentor to O’Keefe, he and Giles unleashed one of the biggest political scandals on Capitol Hill since the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, ten years prior. The series of videos from ACORN offices around the country led to the group’s collapse, as it also lost federal contracts with agencies, such as the Census Bureau. As other reporters got involved, including The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund and The American Spectator’s Matthew Vadum, which led to the uncovering of more corruption. Ultimately, the House and Senate, both controlled by Democrats, voted to defund ACORN and President Barack Obama signed it into law.
In the following years, O’Keefe and Project Veritas journalists released investigative reports led to a reduction of federal funding to National Public Radio, as well as numerous NPR executives being fired and or retiring. Another investigation into the private group Enroll America, led to its director getting fired and a series of congressional field hearings focused on fraud inside Obamacare navigator program.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned April 10, 2014, three weeks after the Government Accountability Office documented her role in the raising money for Enroll America in her official capacity from organizations doing business with her department.
Heading into 2014 elections, O’Keefe launched investigations in four key battleground states to expose the hypocrisy of Senate candidates misleading voters: Phil Bredesen, Russ Feingold, Mark Udall and Allison Lundergan Grimes. All four Senate candidates lost at the ballot box.
In 2016, Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action released videos exposing key Democrats not only admitting voter fraud exists, but also showing how to successfully commit it on a massive scale. In New York City, Democratic Election Commissioner Alan Schulkin admitted on a hidden camera voter fraud was rampant in his city and it was allowed to flourish to the benefit of the Democratic Party. Additional videos released that year exposed consultants hired by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign conspired to foment violence at rallies held by candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. The investigation has been credited with exposing the dark side of the Clinton campaign’s tactics.
O’Keefe turned his attention to the mainstream media in 2017 and the Project Veritas investigations into CNN became the No. 1 trending videos in the United States. This investigation exposed CNN’s anti-Trump bias and raised serious questions about the news organization’s credibility.
Just days before the 2017 Presidential inauguration, O’Keefe and Project Veritas reporters infiltrated the Antifa-linked DisruptJ20 movement to conduct an undercover investigation at meeting at Washington’s Comet pizzeria, where the agitators plotted how to violently disrupt President-elect Donald Trump swearing in a planning meeting. After viewing the footage, O’Keefe turned it over to the FBI, the Secret Service and the capital’s Metropolitan Police Department, which led to the arrest of Scott Charney, Paul Kuhn, and Colin Dunn, charged with conspiracy to commit an assault.
The team kept up the investigative pressure in the 2018 Senate races by helping retire incumbent Democratic senators in Missouri, North Dakota and Indiana. Undercover journalists captured one candidate admitting that she had “a bunch of Republican voters” at home, but the she and Obama “essentially have the same views,” and the “people just can’t know that.” As a result, his team was credited with helping maintain the conservative balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
In 2019, O’Keefe launched the Project Veritas “Be Brave. Do Something” campaign. The campaign’s focus is to recruit insiders at organizations who will come forward to Project Veritas and choose to become vehicles of change, catalysts for citizen empowerment and have the will to inspire moral courage. These groundbreaking investigations into social media giants, Pinterest, Google and Facebook exposed practices, such as Facebook’s “deboosting” of users, posts and comments.
One of the insiders, a Pinterest software engineer, Eric Cochran, came forward with evidence that Pinterest targeted posts by the pro-life organization LiveAction, led by Lila Rose.
Another revelation was when Google engineers were recorded revealing Google’s not so hidden agenda in “Algorithmic fairness”, news blacklists and “human raters,” once again, the findings were so compelling that O’Keefe gave the footage to the Department of Justice, along with more than 950 pages of leaked documents.
On Capitol Hill, the investigations led to House and Senate hearings, where lawmakers grilled social media executives the contrast between the public statements and the Project Veritas findings. It was a direct result of these Project Veritas investigations, which reveals the practice of shutting down a user’s access to their online community without notice that the term “shadow banning” entered the lexicon.
The success of the social media investigations forced mainstream media outlets to cover O’Keefe and Project Veritas and it led to non-mainstream media outlets to conduct their own investigations. Even social media celebrities came forward with their own experiences of being shadow banned, suspended or even deplatformed from social media communities, where they had experienced great success.
This social media awakening culminated with President Donald Trump calling a July 11, 2019 “Social Media Summit” in the White House’s East Room. In the middle of his prepared remarks, the president caught sight of O’Keefe and saluted him for his impact.
One of O’Keefe’s most recent impactful investigations was ABC News anchor Amy Robach telling people in the studio, but off-camera, that her bosses at ABC News spiked her expose of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The “Good Morning America” anchor told her studio crew her report would have also implicated President Bill Clinton and she doubts Epstein took his own life. The Robach video was viewed and shared by tens of millions of viewers around the world as America’s mainstream media and international media outlets could not ignore this scoop.
Before the Wright tape was released, O’Keefe met with a senior official at ABC News to give them the opportunity to respond. Further, O’Keefe said he did not support ABC’s decision to suspend Wright because of his personal beliefs.
In 2020, Project Veritas went back to court to fight for Americans’ First Amendment rights in Massachusetts and Oregon. In both cases the state law prohibits several if not all forms of undercover recordings that are done in public, limiting a journalist’s ability to properly do their job and inform the public. Veritas had a partial victory in Massachusetts in late 2018, where the court ruled that public officials could be recorded in public, but not private citizens. Both the Massachusetts and Oregon cases are still being litigated and Veritas has no intention of giving up on this most basic constitutional right.
Project Veritas’ first big scoop of 2020 came from ABC News. This time, it was a hidden camera recording in a crowded bar of veteran ABC News political reporter David Wright. On the night of the New Hampshire Primary, Wright voiced his socialist views and admitted to the network’s bias against President Trump. At the time, Wright was assigned to the network’s “Nightline” program, where he reported on the presidential campaign. Before the Wright video was released, O’Keefe met with a senior official at ABC News to give them the opportunity to respond, which led ABC News to suspend Wright as a result of the tapes. O’Keefe said he did not support ABC’s decision to suspend Wright because of his personal beliefs.
Project Veritas then went on to expose another media giant, CBS News, who aired a fake COVID-19 testing line at Cherry Health Clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A clinic insider approached Veritas with this information, which would later lead to CBS News deleting the video from their website and President Trump commenting on the story from the oval office.
O’Keefe also invested his time in infiltrating and exposing Antifa, a violent group known for its radical views and destructive capabilities. In June of 2020, he released videos recorded by Veritas journalists which showed how well organized the organization is, their combat training sessions, and key players behind their funding such as George Soros and Tom Steyer.
Project Veritas’ first insider-driven story of 2020 came from within Facebook, where their own content moderators Zach McElroy and Ryan Hartwig recorded malfeasance at their workplace. These two brave insiders worked closely with Project Veritas for months while they recorded evidence of political censorship inside their organization, which led to Rep. Matt Gaetz sending a criminal referral letter to Attorney General Bill Barr against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for perjury and also questioning Zuckerberg in Congress about the videos. Zuckerberg was forced to admit that what he saw in the videos was not acceptable conduct within his company.
O’Keefe also battled the FBI for his constitutional right to exercise the Second Amendment. He found out that he was wrongfully placed on an FBI NICS list which blocked his ability to purchase firearms. Upon releasing a video exposing this wrongdoing and launching a lawsuit against the FBI, O’Keefe was quickly removed from that list, a huge victory against deep state corruption.
During the fall of 2020, Project Veritas launched several videos exposing voter fraud. In New Hampshire, a Veritas journalist recorded a man by the name of Vincent Marzello admitting to double voting in the 2016 election. Veritas also uncovered the fact that the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office had buried an active Marzello double voting investigation for months. O’Keefe went to New Hampshire to present the video evidence of Marzello’s double voting directly to the state’s Deputy Attorney General Jane Young. To O’Keefe’s surprise, he was invited into the Attorney General’s office conference room to show the tapes, which was a different treatment from how the office had dealt with O’Keefe in years past where they attempted to subvert Veritas’ work. During the meeting, Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Chong Yen told O’Keefe that he was not aware of New Hampshire having voter ID cards, which was used by Vincent Marzello, shocking O’Keefe given Chong Yen’s seniority in the office. Upon reviewing the footage, the state took swift action to arrest Marzello. This investigation also prompted New Hampshire’s Attorney General, Gordon MacDonald, to call O’Keefe a few days after the arrest and admit to his office’s mistakes. MacDonald admitted that New Hampshire does in fact have voter ID cards and he promised O’Keefe that his office would take several steps to prevent these miscarriages of justice from happening again.
Veritas’ efforts to protect election integrity resulted in two significant voter fraud investigations that took place in Minnesota and Texas. In Minnesota, Veritas journalists uncovered a massive Ilhan Omar-connected ballot harvesting scheme happening in the Somali community, where countless ballots were being taken from the elderly by pay or even by force. This investigation received tens of millions of views online, was mentioned by President Trump and his campaign several times, made the front page of the New York Post, and put the mainstream media on panic mode as they attempted to cover up the clear voter fraud evidence presented in the videos. Specifically, The New York Times wrote a hit piece filled with lies about the videos, claiming they were unsubstantiated and “coordinated disinformation.” After refusing to retract their lies, The New York Times is now facing a lawsuit for defamation filed by Project Veritas.
Similarly, in Texas, Project Veritas uncovered massive ballot harvesting fraud being done by Mauro Garza’s campaign worker Raquel Rodriguez, who would later be arrested by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on four counts of voter fraud. O’Keefe confronted Rodriguez before the video was launched in October, who refused to answer any questions about her crimes. She was working with both Democrats and Republicans in Texas to buy votes, coerce voters, among other illegal election activities. This investigation also received millions of views and had extensive local Texas media coverage as a result.
Throughout the years, O’Keefe has exposed many fringe radicals. Most notably in October 2020, he deployed Veritas journalists to investigate one of Colorado’s top Democrat leaders, Kristopher Jacks. Jacks was recorded admitting to “lie, cheat, and steal” in order to win political disputes. He also called for guillotines against political opposition among other violent demands. Jacks was fired from his job after the video was released and Democrats in Colorado were forced to respond to the story.
In addition to exposing Facebook in 2020, O’Keefe set his sights on Google’s election interference. Project Veritas launched three videos exposing three separate Google employees detailing how the company picks sides in elections and has a political agenda. Each of those videos also received millions of views across social media platforms.
After the election happened in early November, several USPS whistleblowers came to Project Veritas to expose malfeasance taking place within their local post offices. Three of them were from Pennsylvania and one from Michigan. Richard Hopkins, a Pennslyvania postal worker who later decided to go public with his story, signed an affidavit saying that he overheard his supervisors discussing backdating ballots that came in after Election Day in order for them to count in the vote counting process. O’Keefe defended Hopkins against the lies told about him by the media -- the biggest lie was that Hopkins had recanted his original claims when talking to federal investigators. Hopkins was later vindicated when he presented audio recording of federal investigators trying to coerce him to change his story, and Hopkins also doubled down on his original claim.
One of O’Keefe’s signature media investigations came in December 2020, when he released CNN tapes of the network’s morning leadership calls. O’Keefe livestreamed his presence in one of these morning calls and asked CNN President Jeff Zucker questions about the company’s journalistic integrity. The tapes that were launched exposed CNN’s cover-up of the Hunter Biden corruption story, accusations of white supremacy against Fox News host Tucker Carlson, belittling the Cuban American community that supported President Trump, among other issues. All of these videos went viral on social media and received significant media coverage for the entire month of December.
Kicking off 2021, O’Keefe released a video exposing an executive from PBS talking about re-educating the children of Trump supporters and throwing Molotov cocktails at the White House. Michael Beller, Principal Counsel for PBS, was quickly removed from his role at the organization after the video was released. The Associated Press covered this story.
Also, in January of 2021, a Twitter whistleblower came to Project Veritas with a video of CEO Jack Dorsey and senior executive Vijaya Gadde detailing how they intend to continue censoring political speech beyond President Trump. Specifically, they intend to increase intensity and scale of their censorship efforts to remove voices they do not like. O’Keefe was invited on Hannity to discuss this story on two separate occasions and promised there is more to come.
Aside from leading Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action, O’Keefe is the author of two best-selling books, Breakthrough: Our guerilla war to expose fraud and save democracy, published in 2013, and American Pravda: My fight for truth in the era of Fake News, published in 2018. Both books are personal and revealing works about both his experiences on the line of scrimmage of American democracy and his take on what mainstream media has become and what it should be. O’Keefe is now working on his third book that will likely be published by 2022.
"[Gesturing at James O’Keefe] there he is, stand up please! How good… what a great job. Somebody said he's controversial. He's not controversial, he's truthful. He's truthful. That was a great job. That was one of many. Thank you very much.” – President Trump at the White House. July 11th, 2019.
“He’s doing the American people a great service.” - Donald Trump Jr.
“My old friend and colleague, James O’Keefe, who I met many years ago.” “I urge people to give to James’ program, it is the tip of the spear.” - Roger Stone
“I would pretty much crawl over broken glass to do anything that James O’Keefe asked me to do because he is in my view one of the most important figures in modern American journalism.” Michelle Malkin
“We have raised alarm bells on this show about the terrifying power that big tech now wields over your private life. We now have even more evidence of that power thanks to new video from undercover reporter James O'Keefe's "Project Veritas". - Tucker Carlson
“O’Keefe is doing the kind of things that if anybody can, maybe change journalism.” - Rush Limbaugh