(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Project Veritas’s board of directors was already facing intense public criticism for ousting its founder, James O’Keefe, and the backlash intensified with a public roasting of the board’s public deception in plotting the coup.
The Google whistleblower who O’Keefe helped to expose the company’s AI censorship program accused the Project Veritas board of lying to him about why O’Keefe was given the boot.
“The Project Veritas company lied to me about what happened to @JamesOKeefeIII at Project Veritas,” tweeted Zach Vorhies.
“They told me this all spun out of control because the fundraising team wanted to call donors and James O’Keefe wanted to email them instead. 100% bullshit. This is a coup.”
Human Events editor Jack Posobiec noted that the deception extended to the public as a whole, comparing the difference between the board’s original statement on the brewing ouster, when members insisted O’Keefe was “enjoying a well deserved vacation,” compared to the dreck it issued after O’Keefe’s announcement.
The board made a seismic shift when it suddenly claimed that O’Keefe “left us no choice but to suspend him in the last few weeks.”
Project Veritas 2.0 brazenly lied about what happened to James and now don’t seem to care they lied to everyone pic.twitter.com/B3BrX7LV1a
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 21, 2023
Posobiec and Zorhies weren’t alone in criticism of the board’s actions, skepticism for why such drastic measures were taken and disgust at the board’s attempt to gaslight the coup.
James O’Keefe shows a text message from a Veritas board member to one of their journalists bragging about getting a raise if O’Keefe is forced out. pic.twitter.com/kI38NwtF97
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 20, 2023
Classic “can’t comment on an ongoing investigation”..seems to fly in the face of Project Veritas’ supposed core values of truth and transparency!
— Caleb Scott (@Caleb_S1) February 21, 2023
The board’s public line was that O’Keefe fired somebody he shouldn’t have and was wasting a lot of money.
“We could not allow for our donors to send us money and have it be misappropriated in such a way. We love our supporters, and we would never sit idly by as money is being used for matters that are not mission related,” the board’s statement claimed.
The board, which had recently stripped him of all power and sent him packing on leave, claimed “We did not fire him, nor do we want him to resign. We would like to continue conversations with James to resolve internal matters rather than litigate them publicly.”
Critics ripped the statement as not only disingenuous, but also legally dubious.
If James O’Keefe took too many Uber black rides, then the PV Board would say he used donor funds for personal use, treat the rides as a taxable benefit as part of his salary and compensation, and then James would owe income taxes. This statement is the end of Project Veritas.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) February 21, 2023
OH NOOOOOO JAMES OKEEFE TOOK TOO MANY UBERS WHILE TAKING DOWN PFIZER!!!!! 🙄
This is an absolute fucking JOKE.
Transportation is a normal expense line for any organization.
No one gives a shit, people care about RESULTS.
— Swig 🇺🇸 (@OldRowSwig) February 21, 2023
“Every employee who finds themselves out of work after @Project_Veritas goes under should sue the Board of Directors for damages,” tweeted VivaBarnesLaw. “This is looking less like a ‘hostile takeover’, and more like a sabotage of the entity, the idea that was Project Veritas.”