Project Veritas Prepares to Depose New York Times After New York Supreme Court Ruling

August 13, 2021 Updated: August 15, 2021

The journalism nonprofit Project Veritas can depose New York Times employees in what could become a landmark case for defamation, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled on Aug. 12.

State Supreme Court Justice Charles Wood had sided on March 20 against the newspaper’s request to dismiss a lawsuit from Project Veritas over stories that the watchdog organization says defamed it.

The New York Times later moved to halt all discovery in the action, claiming that moving forward would needlessly burden the paper and the court system and that their appeal raises “novel and important” legal questions that would benefit from review.

But state Supreme Court Justice Joan Lefkowitz sided against the paper, concluding that Project Veritas would be “substantially prejudiced” by a delay in discovery—a delay that could have lasted up to three years if the stay had been granted.

“Here, having first failed to convince the Court that plaintiffs case should be dismissed, defendants also failed to demonstrate the extraordinary justification required for the imposition of the drastic remedy of a stay pending appeal,” Lefkowitz wrote in a 12-page opinion.

“Fresh off the press: The New York Supreme Court has sided with Project Veritas: Project Veritas will be permitted to depose The New York Times,” James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, said in a statement on Telegram.

A spokesperson for the nonprofit told The Epoch Times that the timeline for the depositions isn’t yet clear.

The group plans to depose Maggie Astor and Tiffany Hsu, among other New York Times employees. They’ll have to answer questions regarding articles that Wood described as meeting the dictionary definitions of “disinformation” and “deceptive.”

A New York Times spokesperson and a lawyer representing the paper didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.