UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect a statement from Project Veritas.
A New York Times reporter and MSNBC host Chris Hayes hyped the chances that Project Veritas could face indictments during a Monday night MSNBC appearance.
“This seems like it opens up some criminal liability to Project Veritas,” Hayes said.
Project Veritas carries out invesitgative journalism, often using undercover work. The organization seeks to “bring to the American people the corrupt private truths hidden behind the walls of their institutions,” according to its website.
Aimee Harris and Robert Kurlander pleaded guilty to charges surrounding the alleged theft of a diary belonging to Ashley Biden, the daughter of President Joe Biden, Thursday according to Fox News. (RELATED: Project Veritas Accuses Biden’s DOJ Of Secretly Searching Journalists’ Private Correspondence)
“Does the government think that because Project Veritas told [Kurlander] to go back in and take additional items and was basically part of that scheme, because of that role should they bring charges?” Michael Schmidt asked. “With the First Amendment, does the First Amendment protect them at all?”
FBI agents raided Project Veritas in November 2021 as part of an investigation into how investigative journalism outlet obtained the diary. The ACLU and journalism advocates criticized the FBI’s actions in the raid.
“Project Veritas’ news gathering was ethical and legal,” Project Veritas attorney Paul Calli told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “A journalist’s lawful receipt of material later alleged to be stolen is routine, commonplace, and protected by the First Amendment.”
“The question is that, if these individuals who say they were engaged in First Amendment activity, they were working for project veritas directed them to do this and then claim a role legally in the scheme to illegally obtain the stolen property, would the government go ahead and try to bring charges?” Schmidt said.
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