Project Veritas announced their intention to file an appeal of the verdict which favored Democracy Partners in a civil lawsuit brought against Veritas over five years ago.
James O’Keefe: “The jury effectively ruled investigative journalists owe a fiduciary duty to the subjects they are investigating” and that “investigative journalists may not deceive the subjects they are investigating.”
The jury ruled in favor of Project Veritas on first claim of a violation of federal and DC wiretapping laws finding Project Veritas’ reporter was a participant in all conversations she recorded.
The jury ruled against Project Veritas on second claim of violation of federal and DC wiretapping laws finding Project Veritas owed a fiduciary duty to their subjects, and further ruled against Project Veritas on a fraudulent misrepresentation claim.
The trial was covered by Politico, The Washington Post, and other outlets considering its First Amendment implications. Judge Friedman, appointed to the bench in 1994, had reserved the authority to issue a directed verdict but ultimately did not.
Project Veritas was defending itself against claims of fraudulent misrepresentation and unlawful wiretapping in connection with its news-gathering methods and journalism in a case many argued was about stunting undercover journalism by stripping down the First Amendment.
[WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 22, 2022] Project Veritas announced today that it will be filing an appeal to the decision which granted Democracy Partners partial damages, $120K to be exact.
Democracy Partners originally sued Project Veritas a little over five years ago.
At trial, the political operative organization claimed they lost multiple clients due to Project Veritas’ reporting and sought to impose a fiduciary duty on the journalists’ news gathering efforts.
The verdict represents a setback in journalistic integrity - effectively allowing subjects to dictate the way in which a journalist gathers and reports the news. Project Veritas will appeal.
Project Veritas, in response, has continually refused to settle the case as it has done nothing wrong.
Project Veritas founder and CEO James O’Keefe issued the following statement following the decision:
The jury effectively ruled investigative journalists owe a fiduciary duty to the subjects they are investigating and that investigative journalists may not deceive the subjects they are investigating. Journalism is on trial, and Project Veritas will continue to fight for every journalist’s right to news gather, investigate, and expose wrongdoing – regardless of how powerful the investigated party may be. Project Veritas will not be intimidated.
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.
Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Project Veritas does not advocate specific resolutions to the issues raised through its investigations.