Two-Tiered Justice: Project Veritas to Appeal Jury Decision

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Project Veritas is mounting an appeal to the decision in federal court Thursday that the company must pay $120,000  to Democracy Partners. According to Politico, a jury found that one of Project Veritas’ reporters, Allison Maass, had breached fiduciary duty and engaged in fraudulent misrepresentation. The videos made by Maass reportedly showed efforts to incite violence at rallies for Donald Trump in 2016 in the waning stages of the presidential campaign. Robert Creamer, who works with Democracy Partners, denied any incidents of planning to incite violence and stated that the entities that work with the organization lost contracts after the videos went public. The judge may still impose further damages for wiretapping, although the jury cleared Project Veritas on a claim that Maass recorded a meeting to which she was not a party.


Project Veritas announced its intention to file an appeal later that day. It has refused to settle the case, saying it has done nothing wrong, and called the decision a setback in journalistic integrity that would allow the subjects of an investigation to essentially determine how news is gathered and reported. James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas, has noted that his organization was not sued for defamation. O’Keefe issued the following statement through the organization’s website:

“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.”

In 2020, O’Keefe pointed out that the journalist was an unpaid, part-time summer intern who had never signed a confidentiality agreement. He also alleged that the court could not find evidence that Democracy Partners had lost any money because of the videos. He added that journalists have no duty to the people they are investigating, stating: “That’s why we’re investigating them.” Two counts were for “unlawful interception of oral communication.” Translation: “Your journalist recorded us and we don’t like it.”  But O’Keefe points out that the investigation took place in D.C., which is a one-party consent jurisdiction, which means that since the journalist was aware of the recording no laws were broken. And O’Keefe said that the journalist recorded not only the plans of Creamer and his organization but details of how the money trail was kept hidden. There is even a video of Creamer stating that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was “fully in” on the work Democracy Partners was doing.


Related: Project Veritas Exposes NYC Elementary Schools’ Efforts to Indoctrinate Kids

Project Veritas was also charged with trespass. In a nutshell, the allegation is that a journalist who took the job as an intern came to work at the office under false pretenses. According to O’Keefe, Democracy Partners gave the journalist a key, but that point is moot since the judge ruled the group was not the actual legal tenant of the property. There is also a count of fraudulent misrepresentation. This term implies that there was a contract that was violated, which O’Keefe says did not exist. The journalist for Project Veritas was an intern working as an undercover reporter. The last count in the case was civil conspiracy. As the name implies, this is when people conspire to commit an unlawful act that harms another party. Democracy partners claimed that because their journalist worked under an alias and that Project Veritas was aware of it, there was a conspiracy. However, had Maass informed the group that she was there as an investigative journalist, the investigation would end before it began. The key word here, of course, is “investigative.”

Project Veritas also has a disturbing video, also from 2020, regarding information about the suit. You can watch here.


Everything that Project Veritas did was in keeping with the time-honored tradition of investigative journalism. Journalists and writers have been going undercover for years to expose malfeasance, corruption, and crime. When I was a reporter, I had to do investigative work a couple of times. It is long, tedious, and aggravating. It is also thankless work; you do it because it needs to be done.

If Project Veritas was a left-wing organization investigating a conservative group, O’Keefe and company would be lauded on a daily basis as champions of truth and defenders of democracy. But because Project Veritas is not a left-wing propaganda outlet. The evidence Project Veritas uncovered has been smothered by yesterday’s court decision.



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