Project Veritas, a watchdog group, published on Tuesday a video showing FBI agents raiding the house of one of its journalists. The video was recorded in November 2021 and shows armed agents banging on the doors. They shouted, “Let me see your hands!” after entering the house. Agents are seen searching the home of the journalist with rifles, including his bedroom, kitchen and closets, looking through his belongings. Agents would have heard him telling them that his “hands have been up.”
Last November, RedState's Jennifer Van Laar reported that James O'Keefe, Project Veritas founder, announced one Friday that FBI agents had raided the homes of Project Veritas journalists the previous Thursday morning. He also stated that he had received a grand jury subpoena along with a cover letter asking him to not reveal the existence of the subpoena.
The organization sent an email explaining that the raid and seizure were carried out at the direction of the Department of Justice of the Biden Administration, despite Attorney General Merrick Garland's promise to respect press freedoms.
James O'Keefe, Project Veritas founder, criticized the Justice Department's actions. He called them “an attempt by the government to intimidate, silence us as journalists” and said that the group would “stand strong to defend our First Amendment rights, fight to protect the rights of our fellow journalists and all Americans.”
According to reports, the FBI’s raid was related to parts of the diary of Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter. Patrick Howley, National File journalist, published excerpts from what is believed to have been her personal journal. These entries included discussions about inappropriate showers with her father.
Project Veritas stated that tipsters approached the organization claiming to possess a copy of Ashley's diary. After receiving the documents, the organization attempted to verify the authenticity of the contents. Project Veritas claimed it made the ethical decision to not publish any of the contents of the diary, partly because it couldn't determine if the diary was real. The diary was handed over to the police, and no part of it was ever published.
The video footage of the raid isn't pretty. This was a clear attack on the First Amendment and an attempt to intimidate media outlets. Project Veritas is not yet clear on its next steps, but it seems plausible that it is considering legal action. In December, the group hired a Washington-based law firm to investigate the raid. The group will likely take action quickly.