Project Veritas leader removed

Last updated on February 20, 2023

James O’Keefe, the leader and founder of the conservative group Project Veritas, has been removed from the organization, he said in a speech to staff posted online Monday.

“I have been stripped of my authority as CEO and removed from the board of directors,” O’Keefe said in a nearly 45-minute video, reposted by The New York Times.

The organization, known for its undercover sting operations, usually against liberals and members of the media, faced a federal probe relating to the alleged theft and trafficking of a diary and other personal items from President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley Biden. The group’s tactics, including hidden-camera exposés, have been criticized outside of conservative circles.

Staffers at Project Veritas told board members earlier this month that O’Keefe was “outright cruel” to his employees, the Daily Beast reported.

“I’m a hard guy to work for sometimes,” O’Keefe said in the video released on Monday, acknowledging that he could be “very hurried” when interacting with staff.

Democratic consulting firms targeted by Project Veritas won $120,000 in damages from a federal court jury last year, in connection with the actions of one of the organization’s former operatives.

O’Keefe said in the video that he didn’t know why he had been ousted — “or, specifically, why this is happening suddenly, right now.”

In the video, he recounted a weekslong conflict with the organization’s board that culminated in his separation from the group. He left the door open to continue his work.

“Our mission continues on. I’m not done,” O’Keefe said. “The mission will perhaps take on a new name.”