There's an intriguing article out this weekend about alleged FBI raids on Project Veritas authors and allies.
Project Veritas has been dubbed "Gonzo" or "guerilla" journalism, and others claim it is more of a political group than a news outlet. However, it, in my opinion, matches the criteria of journalism, which makes the raids disturbing. The cause is much more troubling: President Biden's daughter Ashley's lost journal.
The New York Times reported that the FBI searched two locations in New York in search of the “stolen” diary that went missing days before the 2020 presidential election. James O'Keefe, the project's originator, questioned how the New York Times obtained the report within an hour of the initial raid.
O’Keefe says that the organization actually received a tip that the diary was abandoned in a room, an allegation that harkened back to the abandoned laptop of Hunter Biden. However, Ashley reportedly insisted it was stolen.
The use of the FBI is also reminiscent of the still unexplained use of the FBI when Joe Biden was Vice President to search for a gun discarded by Hunter Biden behind a restaurant.
Project Veritas decided not to run the story because it could not verify that the diary belonged to Biden. (The FBI may have just offered that confirmation). Instead, it alerted the police, according to O’Keefe: “Project Veritas gave the diary to law enforcement to ensure it could be returned to its rightful owner. We never published it.”
So, what's the deal with the raids? When did the FBI start raiding homes in search of missing diaries?
The FBI can use the alleged theft's interstate aspects to prosecute it as a federal crime. But what really is the crime? It's unclear if they're implying that the perpetrators wanted to sell the diaries or that there was a national security component (which would be strange given that Biden's daughter was writing before her father was elected president).
Journalist organizations are routinely given material removed from businesses, agencies, or private owners without permission by confidential sources. If this is a federal crime subject to FBI raids, what happened to the new media policies of the Biden Administration after the Tucker Carlson controversy?
There are a host of unanswered questions. Here are five to start with:
- What was the context for the diary’s loss? (Did Ashley Biden leave the diary in a room or was it stolen?)
- What is the alleged federal crime (and what is the precedent for a major federal investigation over such an alleged theft)?
- What precautions were taken by the Biden Administration in light of the claimed media status of the targeted individuals?
- Why was there a delay in this action being taken if the alleged theft occurred a year ago?
- Has this matter been under investigation for a year and did the White House request the intervention of the FBI?
Regardless of one's feelings toward Project Veritas, media outlets should demand answers to these simple inquiries. As part of its oversight obligations, Congress should also seek such answers.