Feb 20, 2023 - Politics & Policy

James O’Keefe ousted at Project Veritas

James O’Keefe, President of Project Veritas, speaks during CPAC

James O’Keefe speaks during CPAC in Feb. 2022. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe said Monday that he has been removed from his position as the organization's leader.

Driving the news: "I have been stripped of my authority as CEO and removed from the board of directors," O’Keefe said in video remarks that were posted online.

  • Project Veritas spokesperson R.C. Maxwell tweeted that O'Keefe was removed as CEO by the board.
  • “Currently, I have no job at Project Veritas. I have no position here based upon what the board has done," O'Keefe added.
  • O'Keefe hinted that he might found another organization, noting that “the mission will perhaps take on a new name.”

State of play: O'Keefe's departure from the organization comes after he clashed with two of the group's executives, the Washington Post reported.

  • Barry Hinckley, the chief strategy officer, and Tom O’Hara, the chief financial officer, raised concerns regarding O'Keefe's "approach to fundraising and treatment of staff," per the Post.
  • O'Keefe allegedly attempted to have both O'Hara and Hinckley removed earlier this month as a result, but a meeting of the board ended with both men being brought back and O'Keefe being put on administrative leave.
  • Project Veritas staff subsequently produced a memo detailing allegations of O'Keefe's mistreatment of staff and donors as well as questions regarding his use of the group's funds.

The big picture: Project Veritas is a conservative group founded in 2010 that has used clandestine methods such as hidden-camera videos to target officials, liberal groups and the news media, per the New York Times.

  • In September a jury found the group liable in a federal civil case for fraudulently misrepresenting itself and violating wiretapping laws after it targeted a Democratic political consulting firm in an undercover operation.
  • In August, two men pleaded guilty to transporting stolen property across state lines for their roles in selling Ashley Biden's diary to Project Veritas.
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