Updated: Mar 23
The Biden Justice Department had collected private emails and contacts of Project Veritas journalists using secret warrants and subpoenas, according to Microsoft Corporation legal documents.
The documents obtained by Project Veritas show the DOJ ignored a judge’s order to preserve Project Veritas’ First Amendment rights and tried to hide the fact they had been spying on eight PV journalists long before their investigation officially began.
U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres had appointed Special Master Judge Barbara Jones to protect Project Veritas’ “journalistic privileges” from DOJ overreach, ordering the DOJ not to review any materials seized from Project Veritas without Judge Jones’ approval.
But the DOJ obtained 7 secret orders, warrants and subpoenas from six magistrates in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), accompanied by non-disclosure orders, to seize PV journalists’ emails from the Microsoft Corporation as part of a sixteen-month clandestine spying campaign.
From Project Veritas:
The surveillance culminated in a search warrant seeking every email sent to or from Project Veritas founder and CEO, James O’Keefe, for a three-month period, along with every contact he had ever saved. By virtue of these orders, the SDNY gained unsupervised and unfettered access to O’Keefe’s emails – including privileged communications with his attorneys and notes to and from O’Keefe’s confidential sources, among other constitutionally protected communications.
In a motion filed Tuesday, Project Veritas attorney Paul Calli excoriated the DOJ for committing “violence” to the First Amendment:
“By the time [Project Veritas] filed the Motion to Appoint a Special Master, the government already had the opportunity to review Project Veritas’ journalistic and attorney-client privileged materials,” Calli wrote.
The SDNY “has launched a retributive campaign that does violence to the First Amendment,” Calli continued. “While the Special Master litigation proceeded, the government apparently misled the Court by omission, failing to inform it, and failing to inform the aggrieved journalists, that the government had already obtained the contents of privileged emails from Project Veritas’ cloud computing provider.”
SDNY’s spying campaign is the latest development the DOJ’s politically-motivated investigation into Project Veritas’ investigative activities surrounding Ashley Biden’s diary, where she made disturbing allegations against then-candidate Joe Biden, which Veritas ultimately did not publish.
The DOJ’s spying campaign resulted in several raids on Project Veritas journalists, including founder James O’Keefe, where the SDNY seized 47 devices.
Part of the raid was recorded and released by Project Veritas: