Project Veritas says the FBI declared it part of media

Project Veritas, a conservative organization known for undercover video stings of mainstream news outlets and liberal activists, contends in a new court filing that the FBI deemed the outlet to be part of the news media even though prosecutors later argued that what the operation does is not journalism.

Project Veritas says it learned the FBI’s initial characterization of it from an unnamed FBI agent who considered the actions against the organization to be improper. The agent sat for a video interview with Project Veritas’ founder, James O’Keefe, and provided O’Keefe a copy of an FBI document he said detailed the opening of an investigation into the group days before the presidential election in 2020, according to the filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The federal probe centered on the alleged theft of a diary and other personal effects from President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden, and led to FBI raids at the home of O’Keefe and two other individuals affiliated with the group in November 2021.

The raids touched off a pitched legal battle between the Justice Department and the conservative video outlet, whose founder and attorneys contend that the organization’s activities amount to journalism and deserve all the protections accorded to reporters under federal law and Justice Department regulations.

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