A jury found Project Veritas liable in a federal civil case for fraudulently misrepresenting itself and violating wiretapping laws after the conservative group targeted a Democratic political consulting firm in an undercover operation, per the New York Times.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe said on the group’s YouTube channel Thursday night they’ll appeal the verdict after the jury awarded the consulting firm, Democracy Partners, $120,000 in the case.
Lawyers for Democracy Partners told the jury in Washington earlier this month their clients “were the victims of political spying conducted by Project Veritas” during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Politico.
Project Veritas insisted it was news gathering and that its operatives work as journalists during stings.
But the jury of five women and four men found former operative Allison Maass “breached a fiduciary duty” in the operation that “amounted to fraudulent misrepresentation” after she gained an internship at Democracy Partners “using a false name and story,” Politico reports.
Maass secretly recorded conversations and took papers that she gave to Project Veritas, which edited and published the videos as part of an operation that Democracy Partners said were was designed to embarrass Hillary Clinton and boost presidential rival Donald Trump’s election chances, per the NYT.