The founder of Project Veritas James O’Keefe scored a significant legal win this week, when a federal judge had ordered that a “special master” be appointed that would review data off of O’Keefe’s cell phones, taken by the FBI in a Nov. raid on his home.
Last month, the FBI raided James O’Keefe’s house, ostensibly searching for information about the alleged theft of Ashley Biden’s diary, the daughter of Pres. Biden, in 2020. O’Keefe said that Project Veritas acquired the diary through legal means but declined to release its contents and called law enforcement. (Parts of her diary were leaked and released, though it isn’t clear that Project Veritas had any part in the leaks or publication.)
O’Keefe went to federal court to make the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) stop collecting information from his cell phones, and the judge in the case ordered the Dept. of Justice to comply, pending a decision on the appointment of a special master to throw out materials that may be privileged and therefore not available to law enforcement, such as James O’Keefe’s communications with his attorneys.
Subsequently, the NY Times began releasing legal memos that were written by O’Keefe’s lawyers to him in connection to his prior journalistic projects, which prompted a state judge in NY to bar the Times from releasing any more until it could prove to the court that it wasn’t using privileged information to which it didn’t have the right to gain access.
Recently, Judge Analisa Torres, a jude appointed by Barack Obama, stated that while prosecutors in the Southern District of NY had “integrity,” a special master was required on the principle that justice must be seen as fair.
She appointed Barbara S. Jones, a retired federal judge, as special master, and ordered the Dept. of Justice to have her review all the data from O’Keefe’s cell phones. The judge had also outlined a process that is designed to keep the team that is reviewing the materials separated from the team that’s investigating O’Keefe.
A process similar to this was used back in 2018 when the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s office and home, who was under investigation by Robert Mueller at the time.
Jones, who was the special master in that case as well, eventually came to the conclusion that almost two-thirds of the information was covered by attorney-client privilege and couldn’t be used by the DOJ.
Belatedly, establishment news outlets and the ACLU started calling the O’Keefe raid an assault on freedoms of the press.
Author: Scott Dowdy