Conservative advocacy group Project Veritas has scored a victory in its ongoing legal battle with The New York Times.
According to the Daily Caller, the New York Supreme Court has ruled that Project Veritas will be allowed to depose the Times over its reporting on an investigative video released by the group.
“Unverifiable expression of opinion”
The video in question alleged that allies of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) engaged in unlawful ballot harvesting, prompting the Times to respond with two articles asserting that Project Veritas used “deceptive” tactics as part of a “coordinated disinformation campaign.”
For its part, Project Veritas responded with a defamation lawsuit.
In its first legal move, the Times attempted to have the case dismissed, claiming that its assertions represented an “unverifiable expression of opinion.”
The court did not accept this argument, however, since the articles were published in the paper’s news section instead of the opinion page.
Not only did the court reject the motion to dismiss, but it also asserted that Project Veritas demonstrated “a substantial basis in law and fact” in determining that the Times “acted with actual malice, that is, with the knowledge that the statements in the Articles were false or made with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not.”
“Let the depositions begin”
Accordingly, the court ruled that Project Veritas may proceed with the discovery process, leading the newspaper to seek judicial relief for a second time.
Specifically, the Times asked the court to prevent Project Veritas from proceeding with discovery until an appeal of the dismissal motion is complete, which could take years. Once again, the court sided with Project Veritas.
As it stands, nothing is preventing Project Veritas from taking the next step in its complaint against the newspaper, which is set to include a deposition of the authors and editors involved in the two articles about its undercover video.
In a statement to supporters, Project Veritas signaled that new developments are in the pipeline thanks to the recent ruling in its favor.
“Ladies and gentlemen: Let the depositions begin,” the group announced. “Stay tuned. We’re about to drop the first New York Times deposition any day.”