Politics

Project Veritas says federal investigators secretly accessed its emails 

Conservative investigative journalism group Project Veritas alleges that prosecutors misled a federal court and sought out unnecessary gag orders as it conducted a federal investigation.

That investigation included determining the group’s connection to the proposed theft of a journal belonging to Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden’s daughter. 

The FBI conducted raids in November at Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe’s home as well as at the homes of two others who worked with the group. The agents exercised warrants that permitted them to take phones and computers in order to search for evidence of trafficking in interstate property.

Those raids brought on controversy in some circles as Project Veritas describes itself as a news organization, and the use of search warrants against news outlets and journalists is rare because of Justice Department policies.

Following the raids, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres agreed to a Project Veritas request to put in place a special master to review the information found on the collected devices to make sure that prosecutors would not be gaining access to emails, text messages, and other records that could be subject to attorney-client privilege.

But according to a Tuesday letter to a federal judge overseeing the probe, Project Veritas’ attorneys said they discovered that for a year prior to the raids, prosecutors implemented gag orders to quiet other steps in the diary probe. 

“The government’s failure to disclosure its other privilege invasions makes a mockery of these proceedings,” said Project Veritas attorney Paul Calli and other counsel in the 12-page letter to Torres filed on Tuesday.

Calli argued that the special master review that Torres had put in place was circumvented as the prosecution had access to the group’s records by other means.

“The government already had in place mechanisms for circumventing these protective processes and invading Project Veritas’s First Amendment and attorney-client privileges, the existence of which the prosecutors concealed form counsel for Project Veritas and its journalists and, we believe, from the Court,” he wrote.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BUSINESS INSIDER

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