(Chris Parker, Headline USA) Organizations across the political spectrum have joined the legal team of James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, in condemning the Department of Justice’s illegal attack against the organization, reported Just the News.
Attorneys Chas Short and Paul Calli of O’Keefe’s legal team have accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of being a hypocrite.
“Your Justice Department’s outrageous and illegal abuses to journalists critical of the current administration, who lawfully gathered information to report to the public on a matter of public interest, have all occurred on your watch,” they wrote.
“Your DOJ acted in contravention of your sanctimonious pronouncements and in violation of the Privacy Protection Act, DOJ’s regulations for obtaining information from the news media, and DOJ directives.”
A host of legal experts have accused Biden’s FBI and Justice Department of illegally using force to ‘intimidate, humiliate, and embarrass’ critics. Many of those accusations come from organizations that are not typically friendly towards conservatives.
“I don’t personally like Project Veritas at all, but imagine this was a liberal [organization] under Trump,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. “Not a good precedent.”
Even the ACLU condemned the DOJ’s move.
“We’re troubled by the government’s sweeping searches and seizures in this case,” ACLU staff attorney Brian Hauss previously said.
“To prevent law enforcement overreach from chilling fundamental First Amendment freedoms, government investigations into press activities must be precisely tailored to specific allegations of criminal conduct. Without knowing more, it appears that the government’s searches in this case may not have been appropriately limited.”
The raid against O’Keefe has garnered new scrutiny in light of the FBI’s recent partisan raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. That raid is under investigation by judiciary Republicans. The DOJ has admitted that it over-collected evidence.
The DOJ claims it conducted the O’Keefe raid over a journal that Ashley Biden, President Biden’s daughter, left behind after moving out of her home in Delray Beach, Fla. The diary was submitted to Project Veritas by the home’s subsequent occupants.
Project Veritas attempted to verify the journal’s authenticity for weeks. Ultimately, they never posted its content. Instead, they set up an arrangement to deliver it to the Delray Beach police.
Even if they had published its content, the First Amendment protects journalists for publishing materials delivered to them, regardless of the source.
However, those protections did not stop the FBI from raiding O’Keefe’s apartment while forcing him to stand handcuffed in his underwear in a public breezeway. They ultimately stole several electronics and hundreds of thousands of documents.
The DOJ is fighting hard to prevent the search warrant it issued from being released to the public.