Jury Orders Project Veritas To Pay Damages To Democrat Consulting Firm

A jury in Washington, D.C., returned a verdict this week requiring journalism outlet Project Veritas to pay $120,000 to a Democrat consulting firm, finding the organization had broken federal and District of Columbia wiretapping laws and engaged in fraudulent misrepresentation.

The plaintiff in the case is Democracy Partners, which was the subject of a sting operation by Project Veritas in 2016. The outlet showed the firm violated the law when it sent an undercover reporter to apply for an internship with Democracy Partners using a fake identity and then recording events and conversations.

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe told the Daily Wire that the outlet plans on appealing the judgment entered after the civil jury trial. He added that the verdict has major negative implications for free journalism and the First Amendment if not challenged.

O’Keefe said that the verdict “effectively ruled that investigative journalists owe a fiduciary duty to the subjects they are investigating and that investigative journalists may not deceive the subjects they are investigating.” He said that journalism itself is on trial and his organization will fight for the rights of every American journalist to gather news while investigating and exposing wrongdoing.

He added that Project Veritas “will not be intimidated regardless of how powerful the investigated party may be.”

The jury found that the Project Veritas reporter, Allison Maass, had a “fiduciary duty” to Democracy Partners which she violated by making secret recordings. Some of the recordings Maass made showed operatives of the consulting firm admitting that they incited violence at rallies for the 2016 campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump.

Robert Creamer of Democracy Partners testified that he believed he lost around $500,000 in contract revenue because of Project Veritas’ reporting on his firm’s corruption. After the verdict in heavily-Democratic Washington went his way, he issued a press statement saying he hoped the case would convince Project Veritas to not “conduct political spy operations.”

Attorney Paul Calli represents Project Veritas in the case and said “folks on my Left” prefer to ignore the First Amendment and “will spike the ball and celebrate on Twitter” simply because they do not like O’Keefe or Project Veritas.

Calli added, “We will see what the finish line brings.”