ACLU ‘Troubled’ By Allegations DOJ Spied On Project Veritas

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a press release Tuesday that it’s “concerned” the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) alleged surveillance of Project Veritas will lead to “serious consequences for press freedom.”

“We’re deeply troubled by reports that the Department of Justice obtained secret electronic surveillance orders requiring sweeping disclosure of ‘all content’ of communications associated with Project Veritas email accounts, including attorney-client communications,” Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said in the press release. (RELATED: ‘Let Me See Your Hands!’: Project Veritas Releases Video Of FBI Raiding Journalist’s Home)

“The government must immediately suspend its review of the materials obtained pursuant to its electronic surveillance orders and fully disclose the extent of its actions, so that the court can consider appropriate relief,” Hauss added.

Project Veritas, a nonprofit news organization, claimed Tuesday that the DOJ granted seven secret orders, warrants and subpoenas from six judges within the Southern District of New York (SDNY) to force Microsoft to provide the journalists’ constitutionally protected information. The organization’s founder James O’Keefe called the DOJ’s alleged actions a “fundamental intolerable abridgment of the First Amendment.”


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“Project Veritas is immediately filing a motion demanding that the federal government disclose if it engaged in covert spying of our journalists by secretly demanding production of our protective materials from any other businesses like Microsoft,” O’Keefe said.

The FBI raided the homes of Project Veritas journalists, including O’Keefe’s, in November after reports alleging that the diary of Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden’s daughter, was stolen. O’Keefe said the emails obtained by the DOJ go back to January 2020, “eight months before we knew the diary existed.”

“I didn’t publish Ashley Biden’s diary,” O’Keefe told The Hill. “People say, ‘You’re a right-wing extremist. If I was a right-wing activist, I would’ve published Ashley Biden’s personal diary, but two things. Number one, I couldn’t verify with 100% certainty it was hers. And number two, I didn’t think public eyes should see the private musings of this person. I couldn’t confirm if the things she wrote in the diary actually occurred.”