ACLU condemns Project Veritas for ‘deceptions’ but warns of precedent set by DOJ raid

On Sunday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned against future consequences of the Justice Department’s raids of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe’s home.

O’Keefe’s home, and those of his associates, were raided in connection to the missing diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley.

“Project Veritas has engaged in disgraceful deceptions, and reasonable observers might not consider their activities to be journalism at all,” read a statement by the ACLU. “Nevertheless, the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom.”

The statement continued, “Unless the government has 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.” 

Ashley Biden’s alleged diary apparently fell into the hands of Project Veritas sometime last fall. The organization decided not to publish anything from the diary, and instead they tried handing it over to law enforcement. On Thursday, District Court Judge Analisa Torres from the Southern District of New York ordered the DOJ to end the extraction of information from O’Keefe’s phones, which had been confiscated by the FBI. 

Torres also granted the request O’Keefe’s legal team made for an independent “special master” to be appointed in order to oversee the review of his devices. The ACLU recommended the appointment of a special master in the case as well.

“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 statement read.

Other First Amendment experts relayed similar sentiments as the ACLU in the matter. Jane Kirtley, a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, called the raids “just beyond believe.” She added, “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.” 




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