Project Veritas wins lawsuit against New York Times
A judge has directed the New York Times to return internal documents belonging to Project Veritas that were cited by the paper in an article last month. The report had sparked allegations that the FBI was behind the memos’ leak.
In his ruling on Friday, Justice Charles Wood of the Westchester County Supreme Court in New York state ordered the New York Times to give Project Veritas back any physical copies of legal memos prepared by the media watchdog group’s attorneys and to erase all electronic copies.
The judge also upheld his temporary order issued last month against further publication of details from the memos. He said that the documents did not constitute a matter of public concern, adding that they fell under the group’s expectations of privacy that outweighed concerns about press freedoms.
“Steadfast fidelity to, and vigilance in protecting First Amendment freedoms cannot be permitted to abrogate the fundamental protections of attorney-client privilege or the basic right to privacy,” Wood ruled.
Project Veritas had raised objections to a November 11 New York Times article that purportedly revealed how the group held discussions with its lawyers to “gauge how far its deceptive reporting practices can go before running afoul of federal laws.
The article’s timing prompted outrage and suspicions that an FBI source might have leaked the newspaper confidential data obtained during recent raids.
It came out in less than a week after an FBI raid of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe’s home – as part of an investigation into the group’s acquisition of a diary supposedly belonging to Ashley Biden, the US president’s daughter.
Christmas came early for our @dhillonlaw clients #projectveritas#jamesokeefe today! NY Trial court issued devastating opinion ruling that the @nytimes improperly obtained and published its litigation adversary’s non-waived privileged communications: pic.twitter.com/fdgxWiEjdM— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) December 24, 2021
In a statement, Libby Locke, a lawyer for Project Veritas, said that the ruling affirmed the view that the New York Time’s behavior had been “irregular.”
The New York Times has long forgotten the meaning of the journalism it claims to espouse, and has instead become a vehicle for the prosecution of a partisan political agenda.
The decision came as part of a defamation lawsuit Project Veritas filed against the New York Times in 2020 when the paper published an article accusing the group of engaging in “deceptive” journalistic practices. The judge said that while these practices may be of public interest, legal communications were not.
Meanwhile, New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said the paper would appeal the ruling – claiming that it was without “apparent precedent” and maintained that the documents were “obtained legally in the ordinary course of reporting.”