Court Prohibits NYT From Publishing Project Veritas Legal Memos

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A judge in New York state ruled Thursday that The New York Times cannot publish articles containing information from private Project Veritas communications, at least for the time being.

Project Veritas is currently engaged in a defamation suit with the NYT, and their lawyers argued that the NYT sought to embarrass and harm a litigation adversary by publishing internal legal memos leaked to the paper. The complaint stems from a NYT story last week which revealed internal discussions amongst Project Veritas employees and attorneys about legal boundaries the outlet’s work may run up against.

Westchester County Supreme Court Judge Charles D. Wood ordered the NYT to argue why the publication of the internal discussion was justified, and ordered the paper not to publish any more of Project Veritas’ “privileged materials” at this time. Critics of the ruling, including lawyers for the NYT, called it an affront on press freedoms and the first amendment. (RELATED: NY Supreme Court Sides With Project Veritas, Allows Group To Depose The New York Times)

“This ruling is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent,” NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “When a court silences journalism, it fails its citizens and undermines their right to know. The Supreme Court made that clear in the Pentagon Papers case, a landmark ruling against prior restraint blocking the publication of newsworthy journalism. That principle clearly applies here.”

But Veritas applauded the decision, arguing that the published information was protected by attorney-client privilege. “Here, the Times already published Veritas’ attorney-client privileged communications,” said Project Veritas attorney Elizabeth Locke. “And the interim order and more permanent relief sought are narrowly tailored to that misconduct.”