Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe responded to a weekend FBI search of his apartment during an interview on Monday, saying agents handcuffed him and threw him against a wall.
In his first public remarks about the matter, O’Keefe confirmed the FBI raid at his Westchester County, New York, home after neighbors told media outlets over the weekend that agents showed up at his door on Saturday. Agents also searched the homes of Project Veritas associates a day earlier, O’Keefe confirmed in a video posted to Vertias’ YouTube channel.
“I woke up to a pre-dawn raid,” O’Keefe told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “Banging on my door, I went to my door to answer the door and there were 10 FBI agents with a battering ram, white blinding lights, they turned me around, handcuffed me, and threw me against the hallway. I was partially clothed in front of my neighbors. They confiscated my phone. They raided my apartment.”
Last week, O’Keefe said that Veritas associates’ homes were raided after the group allegedly received the missing diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley. It was never published, he said.
His phone had reporters’ notes from sources unrelated to the Ashley Biden diary as well as confidential donor information, O’Keefe said. Agents spent about two hours searching his apartment, and two of his phones were confiscated.
“This is an attack on the First Amendment by the Department of Justice,” he said. “I’ve heard ‘the process is the punishment.’ I didn’t really understand what that meant until this weekend. And Sean, I wouldn’t wish this on any journalist,” he continued.
O’Keefe’s attorney Paul Calli, who appeared next to the Project Veritas founder in the interview, said Project Veritas paid alleged tipsters for the diary for “the right to publish the material.” The group instead handed it over to local law enforcement, he added.
O’Keefe then added that journalists need to stand against the FBI’s alleged targeting of his group.
“A source comes to us with information, I didn’t even decide to publish it. If they can do this to me, if they can do it to this journalist and raid my home and take my reporter notes, they’ll do it to any journalist,” O’Keefe remarked. “This is about something very fundamental in this country. I don’t know which direction this country is going in. But journalists everywhere have to rise up because we broke no laws here. If they can do it to me, they’ll do it to anybody.”
In a statement on YouTube on Friday, O’Keefe said he was told in a grand jury indictment to not discuss the FBI search but decided to speak out after New York Times reporters contacted Project Veritas reporters for comment within an hour of the raids being carried out. He then questioned how the NY Times obtained information about the searches and what they were about.
The Epoch Times has contacted the FBI for comment.
Over the weekend, an FBI spokesperson confirmed that “a court-authorized law enforcement action” was carried out “in furtherance of an ongoing investigation” in response to questions about O’Keefe’s home being searched.