Project Veritas Fires Back at James O’Keefe

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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Unless you have been taking a social media sabbatical, you probably already know about the row between Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and the organization’s board of directors. After putting O’Keefe on suspension earlier in February, he finally decided to step down as CEO after behind-the-scenes drama came out into the open.

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A video showing O’Keefe reading his resignation letter in front of the organization went viral on social media. “Our mission continues on,” he said. “I’m not done. The mission will perhaps take a new name.”

O’Keefe intimated that members of the board plotted his ouster behind his back, approaching Project Veritas employees to gather negative information to use against him. Indeed, the former CEO presented a text message exchange between a board member and a journalist where the board member offered a raise if the company jettisoned O’Keefe.

Now, the company is striking back, accusing O’Keefe of having misappropriated donor funds and ignored attempts to work with the board to come to a solution. In a post on its website, Project Veritas claimed the board “made numerous attempts in the last 14 days to have a conversation” with O’Keefe, but “he ignored our outreach and decided to instead leak private information to others.”

The company claims it wished to discuss its “long-term sustainability based on staff retention and morale” and also “the company’s financial health.”

Then, the organization dropped its bomb in the form of an accusation that O’Keefe spent donor funds for personal use:

Although PV Leadership has not concluded looking into the full scale of financial issues over the years, a preliminary review at this time indicates that James has spent an excessive amount of donor funds in the last three years on personal luxuries. More is still being uncovered during the ongoing review at this time. Contrary to many reports from today, James was suspended indefinitely pending the resolution of a fulsome investigation and clarity which will need to be provided by a third-party investigative audit report.

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So, what exactly counts as “excessive” when it comes to donor funds? The organization listed:

-$14,000 on a charter flight to meet someone to fix his boat under the guise of meeting with a donor

-$60,000 in losses by putting together dance events such as Project Veritas Experience

-Over $150,000 in Black Cars in the last 18 months

-Thousands of dollars spent on DJ and other equipment for personal use

-Hundreds of other acts of personal inurement

The board also insisted that O’Keefe left them “no choice” but to suspend him “when he unilaterally fired the CFO, who can only be fired with Board approval,” which constitutes “a violation of our non-profit’s bylaws.”

On the website, the board insisted that it “cares about the donors of this organization” and that they could not “allow for our donors to send us money and have it be misappropriated in such a way.”

Looking at the board’s list of misappropriation grievances, it seems to me that there is only one item that seems problematic: The alleged $14,000 for a charter flight. If O’Keefe did use donor funds to meet with someone to fix his boat, that’s an issue. But We have not yet heard his side of the story, and the fact that the board clearly used underhanded methods to oust him makes it hard to trust their contentions.

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However, the other expenses do not seem to be as big a deal as the board would have us believe. Indeed, conservative influencer Mike Cernovich addressed this part perfectly in a series of tweets:

Project Veritas’ social media following has been cascading into nothingness at a rapid rate ever since it decided to get rid of O’Keefe. After the former CEO’s resignation, the company’s numbers dropped even further.

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At this point, it seems safe to say that, barring any revelation of actual malfeasance on O’Keefe’s part, the organization is dead in the water.

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