A federal jury ordered Project Veritas to pay $120,000 in damages to a Democracy Partners member after a project investigator with a fake identity helped expose internal firm activities, Reuters reported Friday.
Former Project Veritas investigator Allison Maass allegedly secured an internship at Democracy Partners with a false name and background, taping activities during her tenure with the firm’s knowledge, the outlet reported. The firm and co-founder Robert Creamer accused Project Veritas of using “heavily edited” footage in videos falsely suggesting they worked to incite violence at 2016 Trump rallies and plotted voter fraud promotion, costing plaintiffs contracts worth more than $500,000.
Democracy Partners reportedly worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign through the Democratic National Committee, according to The New York Times. Maass pretended to be the niece of Charles Roth, a Project Veritas operative posing as a rich donor. (RELATED:Hillary Clinton Says 9/11 Reminds Americans To Fight ‘Extremism’ Amid White House Attacks On ‘MAGA Republicans’)
The jury said Project Veritas was liable for breaking wiretapping laws and misrepresenting itself, Reuters reported. Overseeing U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman will still assess damages over a distinct jury finding that Maass intended to violate a fiduciary relationship, the verdict form indicates.
“Hopefully, the decision today will help to discourage Mr. O’Keefe and others from conducting these kind of political spy operations and publishing selectively edited, misleading videos in the future,” Creamer said following the verdict, The NYT reported.
Project Veritas declared it would file an appeal.
“The jury effectively ruled investigative journalists owe a fiduciary duty to the subjects they are investigating and that investigative journalists may not deceive the subjects they are investigating,” Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe argued. “Journalism is on trial, and Project Veritas will continue to fight for every journalist’s right to news gather, investigate, and expose wrongdoing – regardless of how powerful the investigated party may be. Project Veritas will not be intimidated.”
Project Veritas declined to comment further for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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