I’ve followed the government’s investigation of James O’Keefe and Ashley Biden’s diary since the New York Times broke the story with a little help from its friends in the national security establishment. What did O’Keefe do wrong? What makes it a federal case? This much is clear to me: the Biden Justice Department is out to get James O’Keefe.
Pending before the court that signed off on the search warrants executed on O’Keefe et al. is a motion to unseal the “search warrant materials” (i.e., “the search warrant application, supporting affidavit, return, and any other related judicial documents filed in connection with the Search Warrant” that was “executed at the residence of James E. O’Keefe, III, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Project Veritas, in connection with an ongoing federal grand jury investigation”).
The motion has been brought by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The ACLU supports the motion as an amicus. The RCFP has set up a page devoted to its efforts to unseal the records here. SDNY prosecutors resist it.
Josh Gerstein has a good account of the proceedings in the December Politico story “Judge declines to unseal records about raid on Project Veritas founder.” Subhead: “Magistrate cites privacy interests of Biden’s daughter Ashley in probe about alleged theft of her diary.”
On a related note, Law & Crime has reported on O’Keefe’s efforts to get his stuff back. Aaron Keller’s May 7 story reports “Citing ‘Ongoing’ Probe, Feds Say They Don’t Want to Return Electronic Devices and Data to Project Veritas: ‘These Materials Will Have Evidentiary Value.’” O’Keefe/Project Veritas attorney Paul Calli gave Keller this statement on the proceedings:
Here, these DOJ prosecutors and FBI agents are hiding facts, ignoring law, and basically making stuff up. The FBI has proven that it is now little more than a domestic intelligence gathering service bent on undermining the First Amendment and a Free Press. The FBI is using the legal system to harass a media company and its journalists who are critical of the current administration and to collect ‘evidence’ of a non-crime in order to amass a secret file on American journalists. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud.”
Keller followed up with a May 24 story on the government’s response.
My intention here is to do what we can to keep the proceedings against O’Keefe/Project Veritas top of mind. On Friday the SDNY prosecutors filed its response to the RCFP motion. I have obtained a copy that I have embedded below. The RCFP and ACLU will file replies. It appears to me that the prosecutors have the better of the argument on the issue of unsealing, but they have something they really don’t want anyone to see…….