The Commercial Appeal

Project Veritas founder James O’keefe out


MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Project Veritas founder James O’keefe said in a speech posted online Monday that he has been removed as the right-wing group’s leader.

In remarks that appeared to have been made at Project Veritas’ office, O’keefe said the board had stripped him of all decision-making. The move comes after the board reportedly put him on leave from his role as chairman amid complaints about his treatment of staff at the organizati­on, which is known for using hidden cameras and hiding identities to try to ensnare journalist­s in embarrassi­ng conversati­ons and to reveal supposed liberal bias.

“So currently, I have no job at Project Veritas,” O’keefe said in the video. “I have no position here based upon what the board has done. So I’m announcing to you all that today on Presidents Day, I’m packing up my personal belongings.”

Messages seeking comment were left with O’keefe, the group’s executive director, and attorneys for Project Veritas and O’keefe, as well as other officials with the organizati­on, which is based in Mamaroneck, New York.

O’keefe, who choked up and wiped away tears during his remarks, said several times that the nearly 45-minute speech was for staff internally, but it was posted on the Vimeo platform.

The announceme­nt comes after the group’s executive director and several board members put out a statement last week saying that “a number of our staff members provided leadership with some verbal feedback describing real management concerns regarding the treatment of people and our internal processes.”

Project Veritas, which identifies itself as a news organizati­on, is best known for its hidden camera stings that have embarrasse­d news outlets, labor organizati­ons and Democratic politician­s. O’keefe founded the nonprofit group 13 years ago, and its most recent IRS filings provided to charity regulators in Florida show it brought in more than $20 million in revenue in 2021.

Last year, two Florida residents pleaded guilty to selling a diary and other items from President Joe Biden’s daughter to Project Veritas for $40,000, prosecutor­s said.

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