A Homer, Alaska couple, whose home was wrongly raided in April by federal agents who said they were looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stolen laptop, can relate to what happened to investigative journalist James O’Keefe last Saturday.
Read: U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan asks DOJ Merrick Garland to apologize for raid on Homer couple’s home
O’Keefe, the founder of the conservative-oriented Project Veritas, had his home raided by the FBI this month, looking for evidence that O’Keefe had stolen President Joe Biden’s adult daughter’s diary. FBI also raided the homes of other members of the Project Veritas team.
O’Keefe runs the investigative news organization that has conducted dozens of video sting operations, exposing waste, fraud, abuse, and election and government malpractice. He uncovers things that the mainstream media never thinks of looking at.
And he did, in fact, come into possession of the diary, but he never published any of it, and he turned it over to the police, he said, so it could get back to Ashley Biden.
Similar to what happened to Marilyn and Paul Hueper of Homer in late April, the FBI handcuffed O’Keefe during the raid and made him stand in his underwear for hours, while they ransacked his home in Westchester County, NY.
The raid on O’Keefe’s home was so egregious that even the liberal ACLU has issued a statement condemning it, saying “the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom. Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures. We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement officers review only those materials that were lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a legitimate criminal investigation.”
The Biden Administration’s Justice Department blundered similarly last April, when FBI agents decided that Marilyn Hueper had illegally entered the U.S. Capitol, made her way to the House Speaker’s Office, and had stolen the laptop. It was not until October that the FBI found the real culprits — in New York. It was a case of mistaken identity, when the raid took place at the Huepers’ home. A review of the documents in the case show sloppy investigation methods and a rush to judgment by the FBI and other federal agents, such as the Capitol Police.
But by then, the Huepers had found their lives made much more difficult, as they’ve been put on a special “search” list at TSA. Air travel has become all but impossible for them.
Unlike the New York ACLU, which has strongly condemned the FBI in the O’Keefe raid, the Alaska chapter of the ACLU was silent on the raid of the Huepers’ home.
In the case of O’Keefe, the matter got even weirder, as the FBI apparently leaked secret information gained in the raid to the New York Times, which then published a story.
O’Keefe is a frequent critic of mainstream media outlet such as the Washington Post and the New York Times. He is reviled by America’s corporate media. Critics are charging collusion between the FBI and the New York Times.
“This is just beyond belief,” said University of Minnesota law professor Jane Kirtley, a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to Politico. “I’m not a big fan of Project Veritas, but this is just over the top. I hope they get a serious reprimand from the court because I think this is just wrong.”
O’Keefe has said that as a journalist, he was denied legal protections afforded to other journalists. His lawyers are, like the ACLU, asking for the oversight of a special master when the phones’ data are reviewed.
“The Department of Justice’s use of a search warrant to seize a reporter’s notes and work product violates decades of established Supreme Court precedent,” O’Keefe lawyer Paul Calli wrote to prosecutors, Politico wrote.
In the April raid in Homer, the FBI also took a cell phone and computer belonging to Marilyn Hueper, and didn’t return them for weeks, after agents had combed through everything.
Reached in Homer, Marilyn Hueper said she was surprised that the FBI would conduct such a raid against a journalist, but after her own experience, not all that surprised. She has still not been paid back for the damage the federal agents did to her home, although the agents did return to her the copy of the U.S. Constitution that they took from the house as evidence against her.
“O’Keefe already turned the diary over to the police, and never reported on it. They were coming after his sources,” Hueper said. “This is a direct assault on freedom of the press, and the confidentiality of their sources. And all the same unnecessary, over the top shock and awe tactics the FBI used against us — guns and handcuffs and battering rams and agents climbing all over the place.”
She said that an investigation could have been done with a knock on the door. “They just can’t help but push the max intimidation button,” she said. “Are we in Cuba or America? Can anyone tell any more? I can’t.”
O’Keefe has since published a statement on the Project Veritas website about the incident:
I awoke to the news that apartments and homes of Project Veritas journalists, or former journalists, had been raided by FBI agents. It appears the Southern District of New York now has journalists in their sights for the supposed “crime” of doing their jobs lawfully and honestly. Or at least, this journalist.
I had to think long and hard before making this statement. It’s a decision that only I can make. They don’t want me to defend myself and immediately tried to silence me. That’s why the cover letter for the Grand Jury Subpoena we received contains this language:
The Government hereby requests that you voluntarily refrain from disclosing the existence of the subpoena to any third party. While you are under no obligation to comply with our request, we are requesting you not to make any disclosure in order to preserve the confidentiality of the investigation and because disclosure of the existence of this investigation might interfere with and impede the investigation.
But while the Department of Justice requested us to not disclose the existence of the subpoena, something very unusual happened. Within an hour of one of our reporters’ homes being secretly raided by the FBI, 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.
The FBI took materials of current, and former, Veritas journalists despite the fact that our legal team previously contacted the Department of Justice and voluntarily conveyed unassailable facts that demonstrate Project Veritas’ lack of involvement in criminal activity and/or criminal intent. 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.
However, it appears journalism itself may now be on trial.
Late last year, we were approached by tipsters claiming they had a copy of Ashley Biden’s diary. We had never met or heard of the tipsters. The tipsters indicated that the diary had been abandoned in a room in which Ms. Biden stayed at the time, and in which the tipsters stayed in temporarily after Ms. Biden departed the room. The tipsters indicated that the diary included 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. The tipsters were represented by attorneys who handled the negotiations with Project Veritas.
We investigated the claims provided to us, as journalists do. We took steps to corroborate the authenticity of the diary. 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. We attempted to return the diary to an attorney representing Ms. Biden, but that attorney refused to authenticate it. Project Veritas gave the diary to law enforcement to ensure it could be returned to its rightful owner. We never published it.
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! This federal investigation smacks of politics. Project Veritas never threatened or engaged in any illegal conduct.
Should the Southern District of New York try to take away our First Amendment rights to uncover and publish newsworthy stories without government intimidation, be assured, Project Veritas will not back down.
Nothing stops at Project Veritas.
Let me be clear. Our mission is to serve the public’s right to know by illuminating, revealing and exposing information others wish to hide for the wrong reasons. To quote Lord Acton, we believe everything kept secret degenerates. We don’t mislead or conceal. We investigate facts and potential newsworthy information. Sometimes, as was the case here, after we investigate, we decide to not publish a news story. Project Veritas will run from nothing, and we will hide from nothing. We exist for the very purpose of discovering and revealing the truth, in hope to make the world a more transparent place.
Now, this is not the first time we have been attacked and it will not be the last. We know why. We’ve investigated powerful people, and, in many ways, we are the tip of the spear, but we never break the law. Our rule is to act as if there are 12 jurors on our shoulders all the time. The truth will vindicate us.
When the FBI and the Southern District of New York seize reporter’s notebooks, it is not just an attack on Project Veritas. It is an attack on every American and our sacred right to free speech and a free press. The First Amendment is first for a reason: it guarantees all the other rights that follow, because it’s about accountability. Without accountability, freedom itself is an illusion.
So, the great question is: Is this an indicator in the direction that America is going?
We’ve gone far beyond the point of partisan politics in this country. They ask us to focus on our divisions. They don’t ask us to focus on the things which unite us. What unites us is so much more powerful than what divides us.
The First Amendment doesn’t just matter to people on one side. It matters to people on all sides.
That is why I’m calling on all Americans, and especially all journalists, to stand with us for the right to free speech, the free press, and to send a message that the politics of fear will not prevail in the United States of America.
Why is the FBI investigating a missing/misplaced personal item?
I can’t find my day planner. Should I call the FBI too?
What we are seeing is a lawless Department of Justice. The Homer Raid, Project Veritas raid, Rudy Giuliani’s raid on his office and on and on. That letter from DOJ to the US Attorneys that termed parents who dare show up at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists” is despicable.
The FBI is now becoming the ‘muscle’ for the DNC. We used to be polite and say it’s just a few bad apples at the top of the FBI. And that the rank and file are decent, and working for real justice. I would believe that except for the fact that in that entire organization, not ONE of the rank and file at the FBI has resigned in protest over these outrageous search and seizure operations. That indicates a culture of corruption at the FBI and DOJ. There will be no real justice until that culture of corruption is eliminated.
Now! I am starting to think Nancy Pelosi’s laptop wasnt really stolen… thinking the Biden Administration and FBI are just using this accusation to terrorize the Democrat Party’s enemies and ordinary more conservative Americans. They are acting like the Salem town hunting for “witches” burning countless innocent American women.
So while the FBI says Nancy Pelosi laptop was stolen. Maybe it’s just a diversion?
Just think like a crook, and then you know they’re 10 steps ahead of your worst musings.
Fascism is alive and well in the FBI.
Great article. James O’Keefe and Project Veritas are my heros and have been for a long time! The DOJ is waaay out of line here and should be taken to task, along with Biden and his ilk. Let’s go Brandon!
FBI = Gestapo/Stassi/NKVD/KGB all rolled up into one unconstitutional sack of treasonous scum.
More whackoness. Throw okeefe in jail! He partisan hack
Your eloquent and erudite use of the English language most certainly bolsters your arguments quite effectively.
But surely not the New York Times, who violated attorney-client privilege by divulging the contents of the FBI raid, including privileged conversations between Project Veritas and their legal team? Which can now be used to oppose Project Veritas’ lawsuit against them?
The Communist Insurrection that both wheeled in the Biden trojan horse, and has emerged from it, proceeds apace.
The most powerful person in Alaska, at least on the federal level, with the ability to affect change in the central government’s halls of power, has done nothing to uphold and defend the Constitution that she swore an oath to. In fact, Lisa Murkowski has helped to usher in nearly all of the hard core Communist appointees advanced by the Biden Administration, while advancing the “J6 Insurrection” narrative in support of propaganda, censorship and unconstitutional treatment of detainees. She has turned her back on the truth, and she thinks we can’t see it…
It’s so bad even the left leaning ACLU denounced it.
The FIB is a weaponized entity of the deep state. They need to be disbanded, offices razed and the earth salted underneath them so it never rears it’s ugly head again.
Rotten to the core.
And no explanation for how the NYT came into possession of the details only the FBI knew about? No explanation for the FBI divulging privileged conversations between Project Veritas and their legal team? No apology for the FBI giving the NYT the tools they need to fight the lawsuit Project Veritas brought against them?
What does a nation do when its top police force is caught breaking the law?
There are several prevailing theories out there about Ashley Biden’s personal diary that have correlations to Hunter Biden’s personal laptop. Both of these personal items are subjects of intense FBI scrutiny and cover-up. So what exactly is in these jewels that bother Joe Biden so greatly? Evidence that Joe Biden is a criminal? Evidence that Joe Biden is a pedophile? Stay tuned!
I once thought that those that those that professed unto belief of Governmental “black helicopter” squads were delusional, as that could not happen within this Nation….
I no longer consider said thinking delusional…
The current FBI and DOJ have more than shown their hand within that existence…sigh…
The facists complaining about oversight. Then turn around and try to control what others are doing and how they live… love the hypocrisy.
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