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The Justice Department’s recent attacks on the residence of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and his associates have raised questions about the Biden administration’s commitment to the First Amendment, a Politico report said on Saturday.
Josh Gerstein, Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter, Report Describes the details of the FBI attack on the theft of Ashley Biden’s diary. He noted the objections of First Amendment experts who raise alarm regardless of their views on Project Veritas.
Biden’s daughter’s alleged diary ended up in the hands of Project Veritas last fall, though the firm decided not to publish it and transferred it to a law enforcement agency.
James O’Keefe of Project Veritas speaks after the FBI raid: ‘This is an attack on the First Amendment’
Politico cited Jane Kirtley, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who was a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, who described the attacks as “beyond belief.”
“I’m not a big fan of Project Veritas, but it’s just over. I think they get serious reprimand from the court because I think it’s wrong,” Kirtley said.
Politico noted that Trevor Tim of Freedom of the Press Foundation tweeted against the attacks, I’m writing, “I personally don’t like Project Veritas, but imagine this is a liberal organization under Trump. Not a good precedent.”
On Thursday, District Court Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York ordered the DOJ to stop extracting information from O’Keeffe’s phones seized from the FBI. The judge also awarded O’Keefe’s request to appoint an independent “special master” from his legal team to oversee the inspection of his equipment.
“We are pleased that the Justice Department has been ordered to stop extracting and reviewing confidential and special information received in the attack of our correspondents, including legal, donor and confidential source communications,” O’Keefe’s lawyer Hermeet Dhillon told LBL. “The First Amendment has achieved a temporary victory today, but Project Veritas has a long way to go to hold the DOJ and FBI accountable for their actions.”
Speaking to LBL host Sean Hannity about last week’s attacks, O’Keefe said, “I heard ‘process is punishment’. I didn’t really understand what it meant until this weekend.
LOVEBYLIFE News Wolfson contributed to this report.