July 22, 2024

Project Veritas: Journalists or Political Spies?

Project Veritas is suing The New York Times over a 2020 story about a video the group made alleging voter fraud in Minnesota.

Most news organizations consult regularly with lawyers, but some of Project Veritas’s questions for its legal team demonstrate an interest in using tactics that test the boundaries of legality and are outside of mainstream reporting techniques.

In a February 2018 memo, Mr. Barr said he was writing in response to questions from the group about the use of Tinder “to meet prospective agents of the ‘Deep State’ or those with national security clearances.”

The document discussed the perils of the Espionage Act at length, and warned that Project Veritas should not try to obtain or publish any information related to national security. “In addition, as more facts and developments occur in these investigations, further legal consultation is advised,” the memo stated.

The Times previously reported that in the summer of 2018, Project Veritas had provided the money to rent a luxurious house in Georgetown, a convenient base for female operatives going on dates with federal employees at the F.B.I., State Department and Justice Department, among other agencies. In September of 2018, Project Veritas released a video as part of a series called “Deep State Unmasked.”

One of the documents mentions “Richard,” a likely reference to Richard Seddon, a former MI6 officer. Mr. Seddon was recruited to join Project Veritas in 2016 by Erik Prince, the military contractor and brother of Betsy DeVos, who served as education secretary during the Trump administration.

In 2017, Mr. Seddon trained Project Veritas operatives at Mr. Prince’s family ranch in Wyoming, according to training documents and former operatives. He helped oversee a surge in hiring, often interviewing prospective employees at an airport in Cody, Wyo., close to the Prince ranch.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/11/us/politics/project-veritas-journalism-political-spying.html

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