James O’Keefe Is Under Investigation and Project Veritas Is Finally Going to S–t
It’s been six months since James O’Keefe, the founder and ex-chief executive of right-wing media nonprofit Project Veritas, had a falling out with the board of his own brainchild that caused his exit from the company. But the dust, it appears, has still yet to settle.
The far-right activist is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Westchester County district attorney’s office. And while the thrust of the probe is unclear, The Nation—which first broke the news on Friday—noted that it could be tied to claims that O’Keefe misused donor funds during his time at Project Veritas. O’Keefe left the outfit in February after complaints from board members that he spent “an excessive amount of donor funds in the last three years on personal luxuries,” a claim that O’Keefe has denied.
A spokesperson for the Westchester County district attorney’s office declined to reveal the nature of the investigation when contacted by The Nation. “We don’t talk about how we start our investigations,” Jin Whang, director of public affairs at the office, said in a statement. “But if you want confirmation that we were and are [investigating O’Keefe], then yes. We can confirm that.” (O’Keefe did not respond to a request for comment.)
Hannah Giles, the current CEO of Project Veritas, told The Nation that “Project Veritas did not initiate any potential investigation the Westchester DA’s office may be conducting with respect to James O’Keefe. However, PV cooperates with the authorities as required by law.”
Project Veritas—a group notorious for launching controversial “sting” operations against perceived enemies of conservatives—was behind a civil suit against O’Keefe filed in May. That suit accuses him of financial impropriety, attempting to siphon donors and employees from Project Veritas to launch a new project, and breaking a non-disparagement clause amid his messy break up with the nonprofit in February.
The Westchester County probe is not the only strange twist of fate of the organization of late: In a Thursday post published by the official Project Veritas X (formerly known as Twitter) account, Giles was accused of laying off the entire staff. “SOS Hannah Giles just fired us all,” read a now deleted X post. Giles did not respond to a request for comment about the post. But The Post Millennial, a conservative news website, reported Thursday that numerous Project Veritas employees were fired this week. Moreover, Charlie Kirk, an O’Keefe ally and founder of the right-wing youth group Turning Point USA, posted that “Project Veritas has fired virtually its entire staff. Only a skeleton crew of HR and a few fundraisers remain.”