(FreedomBeacon.com)- Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe’s attorney Paul Calli said that the government is weaponizing the law to target a media outlet critical of the Biden administration.
He said that they are using the FBI to harass a media company and its journalists who are critical of the current administration and collect ‘evidence’ of a non-crime.
Hoover would be proud, he said.
Calli’s comments responded to a new motion filed by U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New York defending the government’s probe into Project Veritas and three of its investigative journalists, including O’Keefe.
The filing was a court-mandated response to Calli’s March motion for his client’s property to be returned. The government seized nearly 200,000 Project Veritas emails and other files and raided O’Keefe and two other journalists’ homes, taking their electronic devices.
The new motion argues Calli’s petition should be denied because the government’s grand jury investigation is ongoing, and the electronic devices and data were obtained legally.
A search warrant was issued after magistrate judges determined probable cause to believe that each of the electronic devices and email accounts contained evidence of, or were instrumentalities of, a federal crime. The return of the property sought would “impair the government’s investigation.”
Calli said that judges rely on the government to present honest, truthful facts when requesting a warrant. If the government lies or misleads about the facts, the judges will unknowingly go along with the lies and say there’s probable cause.
Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents hide facts, ignore the law, and make stuff up. The government is trying to seal as many warrants as possible to avoid revealing they used misleading or false information to secure the warrant.
In March, Project Veritas was notified by Microsoft, its electronic communications service provider, that the government had been secretly seizing and reviewing the media organization’s emails and other electronic information for over a year.
The government seized nearly 200,000 Project Veritas emails and files, many unrelated to the Justice Department’s stated reason for the warrants.
This alleged reason dates back to September 2020, when sources told Project Veritas they found a diary belonging to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s 40-year-old daughter, Ashley Biden. She left it behind when she moved out of a Delray Beach, Fla. house subsequently occupied by one of the sources.
Over the next month, Project Veritas tried to authenticate the diary, contacting Ashley Biden and the Biden campaign, but decided against publishing it. National File posted the full diary days before Project Veritas sent it to the Delray Beach police department.
In October 2014, the FBI seized Project Veritas’ sources’ electronic devices.
The following month, federal prosecutors raided the homes of three Project Veritas journalists, including O’Keefe, and seized their electronics.
The government’s Microsoft warrants yielded emails from January 2020, eight months before Project Veritas obtained the diary.
The government didn’t provide any proof that the diary was stolen.
Federal prosecutors ignored civil liberties advocates’ concerns that their investigation violates the First Amendment, especially press freedom.
“The freedom of the press protects anyone who disseminates information to the public,” says ACLU attorney Brian Hauss. “Whatever you think of Project Veritas, they do press.”