News & Politics

Even the Washington Post Wonders if the Justice Department Went Too Far in Raiding Project Veritas

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

It’s hard to believe that all this is happening in the United States. First, secret police chief Merrick Garland directed the FBI to monitor parents who protested at school board meetings against the imposition of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools. Then there was the Justice Department’s raid of the home of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe because of Ashley Biden’s diary. After that came the arrest of harsh Biden critic Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress, the first such arrest in decades, for his refusal to cooperate with the Democrats’ Jan. 6 pseudo-insurrection show trials.

Then today came news of FBI raids of the homes of Colorado’s Elections Clerk and Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) campaign manager. It looks as if the Justice Department has become an authoritarian tool of Biden’s handlers in their quest to criminalize dissent from their agenda — and this corruption is advancing so rapidly that even the Washington Post, a reliable mouthpiece of the Deep State, is now wondering if it is all going too far.

When you’re on the left and lose the Post, you’ve really gone too far. It’s abundantly clear at this point that the Post is fully on board with the authoritarian Biden/Garland agenda. Its coverage of the Attorney General siccing the FBI on law-abiding anti-CRT parents included such Orwellian headlines as “Faced with Republican criticism” — which all good Post readers know is something that is always wrongheaded, ill-advised, cynical, opportunistic, and on the wrong side of history — “Attorney General Garland defends school board memo”; “A man gave a Nazi salute at a school board meeting to oppose mask rules. Ted Cruz defended it as a form of protest”; and “Garland asks FBI to address recent ‘disturbing spike’ in threats against educators.” Nonetheless, if you go too far too fast, you risk waking up the sleeping populace, and so the Post is now calling for the Injustice Department to slam on the brakes.

Post media critic (yes, they really have such a thing; it’s kind of like Colonel Sanders having a fried chicken critic) Erik Wemple noted that Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, tweeted: “I’m sorry, but this is worrying from a press freedom perspective—unless & until DOJ releases evidence Protect Veritas was directly involved in the theft [of Ashley Biden’s diary]. Because if there is none, then the raids could very well be a violation of the Privacy Protection Act.”

Yeah. Wemple pointed out that “Project Veritas purchased the rights to the diary, according to [James O’Keefe’s lawyer Paul] Calli. Then the organization made efforts to authenticate the diary, O’Keefe said in the video. But it ended up killing the story, ‘because, in part, we could not determine if the diary was real,’ O’Keefe said.” Wemple continues: “ So were the feds justified in conducting the raids? Project Veritas says no — that it was engaging in First Amendment newsgathering activities that should be protected from ‘heavy-handed tactics’ (per its filing). ‘It appears journalism itself may be on trial,’ O’Keefe said in the Nov. 5 video.”

Related: Let’s Go Brandon! Washington Post Issues the ‘Greatest Correction’ Ever

Well, yes, journalism itself is indeed on trial, and even though what the Washington Post does cannot by any rational standard be called journalism, it has to keep up appearances, and so Wemple informs his no doubt enraged readers that activities such as what Project Veritas was engaged in, which actually did constitute journalism “do enjoy protection under federal law.”

“The Privacy Protection Act (which Timm cited in his tweet) passed into law in response to the landmark case Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, in which the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional for police to search a newspaper’s materials in a hunt for evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The law sought to correct this outrage, prohibiting searches and seizures of ‘any work product materials possessed by a person reasonably believed to have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast, or other similar form of public communication.’”

The Empire, that is, the Garland Justice Department, is striking back, claiming that in raiding O’Keefe’s home, it “complied with all applicable regulations and policies regarding potential members of the news media in the course of this investigation, including with respect to the search warrant at issue.” Sure. Of course. But who watches the watchman? Who is in place in this deeply compromised and corrupt department to sound the alarm if all that was not actually done?

Wemple quotes Timm saying: “I’ve never said anything positive about Project Veritas in my entire life. That shouldn’t matter here.” Indeed. It shouldn’t, but it does. If Project Veritas were a Leftist group that had obtained Tiffany Trump’s diary, even illegally, the Garland Justice Department wouldn’t have lifted a finger, much less carry out a raid. Wemple concludes: “The key thing, [Timm] says, is whether the Justice Department has probable-cause evidence that Project Veritas was involved in criminality. If they do, says Timm, ‘I don’t think journalists should have big concerns.’ The point being: The Justice Department had better have some goods.”

Yes. But does it? And will anyone at the Washington Post or in the rest of the establishment media really care if it doesn’t?