FBI raids home of James O'Keefe, raises First Amendment concerns

December 7, 2023
by
Ryan Ledendecker

The issue of press freedom, as it relates to the U.S. government stepping on it, was raised recently -- once again -- after an FBI raid on a popular conservative figure.

As Politico reported, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe found himself the recipient of a pre-dawn FBI raid earlier this month.

Similar raids have taken place on his former associates.

First Amendment advocates have raised alarms regarding the series of raids, calling into question how far the government will go, seemingly picking on conservatives.

What's going on?

The FBI raid which happened last weekend left O'Keefe standing in his hallway while agents, one carrying a battering ram, rifled through his belongings for cell phones and devices.

It was in connection to the alleged theft of a diary belonging to President Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley Biden.

The diary had made its way, somehow, to Project Veritas while O'Keefe was still running it, though the organization never published any contents of the diary and ultimately handed it over to police.

Clearly, the Biden administration looks to be working overtime to ensure that nothing from the diary makes it to the public, raising more questions as to what, exactly, the diary contains.

First Amendment advocates, like University of Minnesota law professor Jane Kirtley, were stunned that the DOJ would use the FBI to conduct a raid on a journalist.

"This is just beyond belief," Kirtley said. "I’m not a big fan of Project Veritas, but this is just over the top. I hope they get a serious reprimand from the court because I think this is just wrong."

O'Keefe's lawyers respond

Not surprisingly, lawyers representing O'Keefe had quite a bit to say about the pre-dawn FBI raid.

"The Department of Justice’s use of a search warrant to seize a reporter’s notes and work product violates decades of established Supreme Court precedent," one of his lawyers said, echoing similar feelings from a number of First Amendment advocates.

Politico added:

O’Keefe’s lawyers are demanding that the court appoint a special master to supervise the review of the information on his phones, which they contend contains sensitive details about confidential sources, as well as privileged communication with Project Veritas’ attorneys.

Hopefully, O'Keefe and his lawyers prevail. At this point, it's clear that Biden's DOJ will stop at nothing to ensure secrets are kept.

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