A federal judge ruled that the undercover work conducted by activist James O’Keefe and Project Veritas could fairly be called ‘political spying.’
On Oct. 14, U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman published his opinion as part of a lawsuit filed in 2017 that is expected to be tried in court this December.
According to Mediaite: “An intern working at a Democratic firm, Democracy Partners, in 2016 was actually working undercover for Project Veritas, recording staffers and catching the firm’s founder, Robert Creamer[,] suggesting that they incite violence at rallies held by then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Creamer, whose organization was working with the campaign of then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, stepped back from his role on the campaign following the Project Veritas release of the undercover footage.”
“The Federal Elections Commission was asked to investigate the evidence in the videos, which show Democratic operatives not only explaining how they were trying to influence the presidential election by manipulating the vote but boasting about it,” per WND.
After Democracy Partners and Creamer sued, O’Keefe’s attorneys sought to prevent the organization’s activities from being described as unsuccessful “political spying.”
“‘Political spying’ is a fair characterization of the undisputed facts of this case,” Friedman wrote.
Project Veritas contends its work is done by journalists, lending credit to the First Amendment defense its lawyers are likely to present.
The trial is expected to be contentious. Democracy Partners has permission to show a video of conservative activist Laura Loomer, who, while employed by Project Veritas, reportedly hit a Hillary Clinton-shaped pinata. The judge has also granted them permission to introduce evidence that O’Keefe met with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
Earlier this year, the Project Veritas founder was banned from Twitter permanently for rules on platform manipulation and spam, according to a company spokesperson.
“Prior to his suspension, Mr. O’Keefe was posting content that purported to show a CNN staffer talking about his network’s efforts to defeat former President Donald Trump,” reported The Washington Times. “The undercover video was the latest result of the conservative activists’ sting operation that Mr. O’Keefe and his supporters shared on Twitter with #ExposeCNN.”
In a statement following his ban, O’Keefe said he planned to sue Twitter and encouraged people to follow him on Telegram.