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Attorney Excoriates DOJ in New Filing Over Leaked FBI Document Categorizing Project Veritas as News Media: ‘The Government has Acted in Bad Faith Every Step of the Way’

  • In a new legal filing, Project Veritas Attorney, Paul Calli, introduced a whistleblower-obtained FBI document from a May 11th report.  A source from the bureau disclosed to us “concerning” information about the government’s investigation of Project Veritas’ own investigation of allegations in Ashley Biden’s diary.

  • In court, the DOJ defended its unprecedented secret subpoenas, orders, warrants, and raids on journalists to seize nearly 200,000 emails and 47 reporter’s devices by arguing, “Project Veritas is not engaged in journalism.” The document, however reveals that when the investigation was opened, the FBI labeled Project Veritas as “news media” – directly contradicting the DOJ’s position.

  • Calli said the document is “substantial evidence of the investigators’ misconduct,” noting, “the government has acted in bad faith every step of the way ignoring First Amendment precedent and the protections afforded to journalists by the DOJ’s own regulations.”

[NEW YORK – May 23, 2022] In a new filing, attorneys for Project Veritas highlighted an internal FBI document provided by a whistleblower which, again, calls actions from the Department of Justice into question. The filing introduces an FBI splash page about their investigation into Ashley Biden’s diary which shows a glaring contradiction between the government’s in-court position and the handling of the case.

The document shows the FBI labeled Project Veritas “news media,” but as Project Veritas attorney, Paul Calli, pointed out, the government defended its unprecedented action against journalists by arguing otherwise.

The filing, which was covered by Politico’s Josh Gerstein, clearly outlines what Calli sees as “substantial evidence of the investigators’ misconduct.” Calli argued, “The government recognized on Day 1 that Project Veritas is a member of the ‘News Media.’ This knowledge cannot be reconciled with the position the government took ... that Project Veritas was not eligible to assert any journalistic privileges because ‘Project Veritas is not engaged in journalism within any traditional or accepted definition of that word,’” Calli said.

The DOJ used 19 secret subpoenas, orders, and warrants which were presented to nine different magistrate judges. The DOJ then ordered three raids on journalists’ homes and, in total, seized nearly 200,000 journalists’ emails, and 47 reporter’s devices. Only 6 devices had supposedly “responsive” materials.

Judge Torres is expected to rule on Project Veritas’ motion for its reporters’ property to be returned and its request for key information surrounding the case to be unsealed. Each motion was backed by other non-partisan non-profit organizations like the ACLU and the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press’ own motion to unseal. “This is a landmark case of government overreach, made even more egregious by its direct assault on the First Amendment,” Calli argues in the motion. “Line prosecutors and FBI case agents do not get to decide who is entitled to free speech rights and other protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

About Project Veritas

James O'Keefe established Project Veritas in 2010 as a non-profit journalism enterprise to continue his undercover reporting work. Today, Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society and to engage in litigation to: protect, defend and expand human and civil rights secured by law, specifically First Amendment rights including promoting the free exchange of ideas in a digital world; combat and defeat censorship of any ideology; promote truthful reporting; and defend freedom of speech and association issues including the right to anonymity. O'Keefe serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board so that he can continue to lead and teach his fellow journalists, as well as protect and nurture the Project Veritas culture.  

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