Staffers at Project Veritas have released a new statement as whistleblowers say they support ousted founder James O’Keefe.
In a Feb. 24 video statement, Project Veritas staffers said they “are at a crossroads” due to the dispute between O’Keefe and the organization’s board of directors.
O’Keefe departed Project Veritas this week after being suspended and stripped of his authority. The board has said it uncovered signs of “financial malfeasance” but that it did not terminate O’Keefe. Staffers said Thursday that supporters should “give us a chance” as they work to continue O’Keefe’s mission.
“We want James back,” staffers said in the new video. “But we have a duty to our generous supporters, to all of you, and to our journalistic integrity to break record stories, which impact our culture, and most importantly, the future of our country.”
Staffers said they’re committed to continuing working to expose waste, fraud, and abuse, and that “no board or donor ever tells us what to report.
“We will never replace James O’Keefe. But for now, we see it as our job to hold the torch for him while keeping the door wide open for his return. We will keep the spirit of James’s mission alive for as long as we are able. We have investigations underway and stories to release. Our reporters are in the field,” they said. “As James has always told us, content is king. Our visionary may not be with us right now, but the Project Veritas mission is vital. We will produce stories and break news until a day may come when we can’t.”
The group acknowledged that many supporters are disenchanted with O’Keefe’s ouster.
“We don’t want to see a Project Veritas without James O’Keefe,” they said. “Due to decisions made outside of our control, it’s possible we may never earn back the trust of this audience. But we owe it to all of you to try.”
O’Keefe has said that, after board members rebuffed his request for them to resign, he could not return to the company. In a farewell message to staffers at the group’s headquarters, he said he was planning to “start anew” and that he hoped to see some of the staffers soon.
O’Keefe has since posted several times on Twitter, sharing a new email address for tips.
“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do,” he said in his last update on Feb. 24.
Whistleblowers Speak Out
Whistleblowers who have spoken out through Project Veritas, meanwhile, released a video on Feb. 24 saying they stand with O’Keefe.
“I stand with James O’Keefe,” Zach Vorhies, a Google whistleblower, and the other whistleblowers said.
The group said they found O’Keefe’s departure “extremely disappointing and shocking,” adding, “Without James O’Keefe, there is no Project Veritas.”
“Many of us were reluctant to go public, but because of O’Keefe’s dedication to journalistic integrity and honesty, we made the leap to go public with our stories, because we trusted him and the organization,” the whistleblowers said. They said O’Keefe did not betray that trust.
The ouster of O’Keefe “has dealt a devastating blow to future whistleblowers who now may have doubts about the organization and its leadership,” they said.
Vorhies was joined by April Moss, who raised concerns about CBS pressuring employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine; Richard Hopkins, a U.S. Postal Service worker who said workers were told to backdate mail-in ballots; and CNN whistleblower Cary Poarch, who revealed tensions between management and reporters over the outlet’s focus on then-President Donald Trump.