Project Veritas alleges the federal government is “financially punishing” and “taxing” them by making them pay for a special master assessment of information collected in FBI operations last year.
The Justice Department objected to the special master’s proposal that the government shoulder half the cost of the team’s salaries and expenses.
The adjudicator, Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York, selected the special master in December, going against the wishes of prosecutors and giving a big win to Project Veritas.
Project Veritas aimed to have a third party to ensure officials did not gain access to things secured by attorney-client privilege and to defend the group’s First Amendment rights.
Dr. Robert Malone on the military documents released by Project Veritas: "The implications here exceed those of the Pentagon Papers…this reveals the depth of the corruption…If verified, Major Joseph Murphy needs to go down in the history books as one of the great patriots."
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) January 11, 2022
The First Amendment
According to the group’s lawyer, Paul Calli, exercising First Amendment rights is a privilege that cannot be taxed arbitrarily.
In the document, the US government contends an emerging newsgroup with a recent yearly budget of $22 million is more qualified to pay for special master hearings than an agency with a long-standing massive budget of $31.1 billion.
Last week, US Attorney Damian Williams asked Torres to order the petitioners to cover the full price of the special master’s wages and costs, citing a letter from O’Keefe III, Cochran, Meads, and Project Veritas.
In response to the claim that Project Veritas lacks the finances to contribute to the special master’s remuneration, the government points out its latest publicly accessible tax filings indicate over $12 million in income, over $400,000 of which went to O’Keefe.
All in Search of a Diary
Project Veritas opposed the state’s bringing up the petitioners’ capacity to pay, claiming “the government intends to limit the right to the public press under the First Amendment to the earnings of the subject reporter.”
In November, FBI officers searched several Project Veritas-related facilities, as well as the home of Project Veritas creator James O’Keefe.
Federal prosecutors said they confiscated phones and computer equipment as part of an ongoing investigation into the interstate transit of stolen items.
The raids were purportedly part of an inquiry into the loss of a journal belonging to Ashley Biden, President Biden’s daughter.
Harmeet Dhillon, another lawyer for Project Veritas, said her client did not post the supposed diary. However, a right-wing website, National File, claims to have gotten a digital version from a Project Veritas “leaker” before putting its contents online.
— Waingro🇺🇸 (@Waingro33) January 11, 2022
“The DOJ realized our client didn’t have the diary. What were they truly after? I believe they were wanting Project Veritas’ phones with connections to attorneys and legal communications.”
“They wanted connections of several, numerous contacts in the Biden administration, which, as you noted, is infested with dishonesty and relationships with conservative funders who they’d like to hassle. We have the Biden diary. That’s what this is all about,” she told Tucker Carlson of Fox News.