Dec 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Project Veritas hires its first lobbyist after FBI raids

Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe. Photo: Brandon Bell via Getty Images

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.
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