(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Bucking recent expectations, the far-left American Civil Liberties Union took a pause from its political activism to support the First Amendment press-rights of a conservative journalist being chillingly harrassed by the Biden administration.
Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, released a statement backing James O’Keefe, the founder and former president of Project Veritas, against an FBI raid.
O’Keefe celebrated the news in a video posted on Twitter from his newly formed O’Keefe Media Group.
The widely condemned raid occurred after Project Veritas sought to purchase the diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley, which had been abandonned in the room at a halfway house where she had previously stayed while recovering from addiction.
The diary’s shocking claims suggested, among other things, that she and her father had maintained an incestuous relationship, including inappropriate showers, during her troubled childhood.
Despite falsely framing Project Veritas as a purveyor of lies, Hauss begrudgingly admitted that the government’s decision to target it over the scoop created a slippery slope.
“Project Veritas has engaged in disgraceful deceptions, and reasonable observers might not consider their activities to be journalism at all,” Hauss wrote. “Nevertheless, the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom.”
Hauss said the FBI lacked adequate grounds to support their allegations that Project Veritas had been involved in a criminal conspiracy to steal the diary.
“Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures,” he said, noting also that the court needs to investigate the FBI’s overly-aggressive approach to the O’Keefe raid.
“We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement officers review only those materials that were lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a legitimate criminal investigation.”
At the time, leftist law professors even backed O’Keefe against the Biden administration’s pitiful overreach.
“This is just beyond belief,” said Jane Kirtley, a University of Minnesota law professor and a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
“I’m not a big fan of Project Veritas, but this is just over the top,” she added. “I hope they get a serious reprimand from the court, because I think this is just wrong.”