The O’Keefe Project: Surveillance edition

I infer from yesterday’s New York Times story that the FBI is working with prosecutors in in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York to nail James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. Given the bylines of Michael Schmidt and Adam Goldman on the Times’s coverage, I see the Times as the public relations arm of the operation.

The SDNY first obtained a warrant and grand jury subpoena for documents from Microsoft in November 2020, some two weeks after the election. The FBI has had Project Veritas under some form of surveillance since January 2021. The surveillance has been conducted under previously sealed search warrants and court orders prohibiting Microsoft from disclosing it to Project Veritas. Eight Project Veritas journalists (and the organization’s human resources officer) have been subject to the surveillance.

Project Veritas has just posted the video below of James O’Keefe briefly telling the story. Project Veritas also lays out the story in the companion post “Microsoft Corporation Legal Documents Show Biden DOJ Spying on Project Veritas Journalists; Hides it from Federal Court Judge.”

Project Veritas has posted the relevant documents in its possession online. They are linked at the bottom of the Project Veritas post. Among them are the motion for relief that Project Veritas is filing with Judge Analisa Torres today as well as Microsoft’s draft (unfiled) motion to vacate the nondisclosure order. The Microsoft motion is marked “for discussion purposes.” The “discussion” would be with the SDNY prosecutors about “modifying” the nondisclosure order by which Microsoft was bound.

I take it that the threat of Microsoft filing the motion with the court triggered the disclosure of the previously sealed warrants and nondisclosure orders. On its face the whole thing is chilling.

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