The O’Keefe Project: Mysterious disappearance

(Scott Johnson)

Reporting on the FBI raids on James O’Keefe and former associates in the matter of Ashley Biden’s diary, the Times seems to have a pipeline to the FBI and national security establishment. Thus the November 11 story by Adam Goldman and Mark Mazzetti quoting otherwise privileged legal memos prepared for Project Veritas in connection with its work.

Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple suggests that a disgruntled Project Veritas employee slipped the memos to the Times. Wemple to the contrary notwithstanding, I infer that friends in high places slipped the memos to the times. Goldman covers the FBI for the Times. Mazzetti is described as a Washington investigative reporter for the Times — “a job he assumed after covering national security from The Times’s Washington bureau for 10 years. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia.”

I seriously doubt that their source for the memos was a disgruntled Project Veritas employee. Statements made on behalf of the Times include the assertion that it obtained the memos prior to the raids and an ambiguous denial by counsel for the paper.

Project Veritas has asserted a defamation claim against the Times that is venued in New York state court. The crossover between this case and the Biden diary criminal matter complicates an understanding of what is going on in the Times’s reporting on the FBI raids. The legal memos leaked to the Times generally addressed issues confronted by Project Veritas in the course its work.

Linda Locke is one of the attorneys representing Project Veritas in the defamation case. She discussed the Goldman/Mazzetti story in the November 19 affidavit she filed on appeal of the trial court’s show cause order in the case (below). Her affidavit places the memos in the context of the case Project Veritas is litigating against the Times.

As I understand it, the trial judge has temporarily ordered the Times to cease publication of such material. The trial judge extended his order to December 1 at a hearing in the case yesterday. The Reuters story on yesterday’s hearing sheds almost no light on the issues. It is virtually incomprehensible. The somewhat more comprehensible Times story is posted here.

In the affidavit Locke notes that the Times also published and removed full copies of the legal memos prepared for Project Veritas. The Times published the memoranda at the URL hnps://www.nytimes.com/interaclive/2021/l 1/11/us/project-veritas.html, although the memoranda have since disappeared from the Times’s site and the URL now reaches a page that reads “Page Not Found.”

The Times has of course maintained its silence on the source of the memos. See the Locke affidavit at paragraphs 6 & 13. I draw my inference on the source of the memos based on the reporters who wrote the story. The larger question persists: what’s going on?

20211119 LLocke Affidavit in Response to CPLR 5704 Application[1] by Scott Johnson on Scribd

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