It looks like James O’Keefe is using Project Veritas to help Donald Trump steal the 2020 election.
I reported about Trump’s desire to build a secret spy network back in December 2017 — a network that would be accountable only to him.
In March 2020, we learned that James O’Keefe and Donald Trump had come to an agreement to use Project Veritas as a secret spy network to counter the so-called “deep state” — a group Trump and faux-conservative groups like the Convention of States claim are secretly working to take him down.
The secret spy network concept originated with Erik Prince, the founder and former CEO of the government services and security company formerly known as Blackwater (now known as Academi).
Prince has strong ties to the Trump administration. He’s the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and was a major donor to Trump’s 2016 campaign. He also served on Trump’s transition team as an advisor to the president on intelligence and defense matters.
Prince is currently under investigation over whether he lied to a congressional committee examining Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He’s also connected to the “We Build The Wall” scandal that resulted in the arrest of Steve Bannon.
According to a former senior intelligence official at the time, the spy network would be a “direct-action arm” of the president and would operate “totally off the books” for optimum secrecy and effectiveness.
When this idea was first proposed, there were many unanswered questions:
- How would it be built?
- How would it be financed?
- How would financing be kept “off the books?”
- How would it be used once created?
These questions were answered by Project Veritas. This is the organization founded by James O’Keefe in 2010 to “investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.”
O’Keefe’s claim to fame prior to Project Veritas was his secret undercover recordings exposing Planned Parenthood and ACORN, work that led Andrew Breitbart to financially support O’Keefe in 2010. But in true Everything Trump Touches Dies fashion (H/T Rick Wilson), O’Keefe has abandoned his original mission in order to serve as Trump’s personal spy network.
Erick Prince is helping Project Veritas; he’s been recruiting former American and British spies to work for O’Keefe. This band of “patriots” is being used to gather intelligence by infiltrating Democrat Congressional campaigns, labor organizations, and other groups considered hostile to Trump and his agenda.
Last week, we learned about Trump’s plan to hijack the Electoral College to steal the election, and we learned in August about his plan to invalidate mail-in ballots by sabotaging the United States Postal Service.
Invalidating ballots to steal the election is where Prince, O’Keefe, and Project Veritas come in.
According to the New York Post, Project Veritas has discovered “a ballot-harvesting racket in Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis district — where paid workers illegally gather absentee ballots from elderly Somali immigrants.”
Working undercover in Minnesota, O’Keefe provided a Project Veritas video that leads with this allegation, describing it as “illegal ballot harvesting.”
But as we learn in an article by Judd Legum at Popular Information, O’Keefe’s accusation is flawed — and flawed investigations are something he’s well-known for since selling his principles to Donald Trump:
Project Veritas is known for numerous botched and misleading “sting” operations. In 2017, Project Veritas conspired with a woman who falsely told a reporter from the Washington Post that she was impregnated as a teenager by former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. The reporter was not fooled.
O’Keefe has been criticized, even from allies on the right, of using misleading edits to manufacture a story. Andrew Seaman, the chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee, described O’Keefe as “not an ethical journalist.” Rather, Seaman said, O’Keefe “goes directly to surreptitious reporting methods and has a history of distorting facts or context.”
You know, if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re talking about Trump’s secret spy network, Project Veritas would be called “fake news.” Instead, as Popular Information reported, Trump, his family, and his buddies in the faux-conservative media were quick to spread O’Keefe’s misinformation as fact ahead of the election.
Project Veritas published its investigation on Sunday night, and, with the help of the Trump family, it spread rapidly on Facebook and Twitter. Breitbart, the far-right website, wrote up Project Veritas’ report and posted it to its Facebook page. The article accepts all the claims in the Project Veritas video as true and focuses on potential criminal penalties. In the first 15 hours, the post racked up 50,000 shares.
The Breitbart post was published by Trump on his Facebook page at 7 AM. Trump claimed that Omar was guilty of “totally illegal” actions and called for her to be investigated by the U.S. Attorney. That post was shared another 18,000 times.
Donald Trump Jr. uploaded the Project Veritas video directly to his Facebook page, where it was viewed more than 300,000 times in the first 18 hours. Trump Jr. also plugged the Project Veritas report during an appearance on Fox News.
Project Veritas’ report is also gaining a large audience on Twitter, where a two-minute edit of the video was viewed 4.5 million times in less than 24 hours.
The Project Veritas story was also tweeted by Donald Trump (39K retweets), Eric Trump (9K retweets), and Donald Trump Jr. (10K retweets).
On YouTube, the Project Veritas video was viewed more than 600,000 times in less than a day.
Project Veritas used to be a small operation, but thanks to a surge in donations to the 501(c)3 since partnering up with Trump, the enterprise is swimming in millions of dollars from anonymous private donors and so-called conservative organizations.
James O’Keefe and Project Veritas have taken Trump’s dream of creating a private spy agency designed to take down his political opponents and turned it into reality . . . a reality that could help Trump steal the election.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.