Project Veritas hires its first lobbyist after FBI raids
Conservative provocateur James O'Keefe's Project Veritas has retained a former senior Trump administration official as a lobbyist, records show.
Why it matters: The FBI raided O'Keefe's home last month amid an investigation into a diary allegedly stolen from President Biden's daughter. Project Veritas' new lobbyist was retained to discuss the situation with members of Congress.
- Federal prosecutors have not said who they believe stole the diary, and Project Veritas has denied any knowledge of illicit activity.
- "It appears journalism itself may now be on trial," O'Keefe wrote last month of the raids.
- Organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom of the Press Foundation have warned the FBI's conduct could set a dangerous precedent.
What's happening: Last month, Project Veritas retained Mark Paoletta, a former senior White House budget official and aide to Mike Pence, to brief members of Congress on the raids, according to disclosure filings posted over the weekend.
- Paoletta is "[i]nforming Members of Congress on the FBIs raid on media organization Project Veritas's founder, journalist James O'Keefe," according to his registration form.
- It's the first time Project Veritas has retained a federal lobbyist, records show.
- Neither O'Keefe nor Paoletta immediately responded to inquiries.
The backstory: Federal prosecutors are seeking information on the apparent theft of Ashley Biden's diary. Project Veritas has acknowledged receiving a copy of the diary late last year but did not publish anything based on its contents.
- Project Veritas has also said it was not involved in obtaining the diary.
- Another conservative website, the National File, later published photos of the diary's contents.