This case warrants a special counsel to get to the bottom of what looks like a massive abuse of federal government power against a private group to benefit a defendant in a lawsuit.
By Richard Manning
The abuses of power by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) abuse of power in the Project Veritas raids are almost incomprehensible. Using a battering ram on the door of James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, and putting him in handcuffs while they rifled through his home is little more than an intimidation attempt. Subsequently, a federal judge has ordered the FBI from continuing to download data from O’Keefe’s telephone due to the outrageous behavior by the FBI.
Incredibly, leaks from either the FBI or DOJ to the New York Times immediately after the raids reveal that Project Veritas spoke with attorneys in the past to make certain they were following the law. This must be a shock to the Biden Justice Department and Christopher Wray’s FBI as following the law has become a foreign concept to these federal agencies since their weaponization during the Obama administration. What is particularly reprehensible is that the FBI appears to have conducted the raid at the behest of the New York Times which is currently being sued by Project Veritas for slander.
Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is expressing concern about the raid. Over the weekend, Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project released the following statement:
“… the precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom. Unless the government had good reason to believe that Project Veritas employees were directly involved in the criminal theft of the diary, it should not have subjected them to invasive searches and seizures. We urge the court to appoint a special master to ensure that law enforcement officers review only those materials that were lawfully seized and that are directly relevant to a legitimate criminal investigation.”
However, the ACLU appears to ignore the fact that the FBI raid, which the New York Times was at some level in on, could provide the newspaper with information sensitive to Project Veritas’ lawsuit against the former paper of record. In addition to the special master that the ACLU calls for, this case warrants a special counsel to get to the bottom of what looks like a massive abuse of federal government power against a private group to benefit a defendant in a lawsuit. That special counsel should look at connections between the FBI and the Times, the decision tree on conducting this high profile raid, the extreme force used in executing the warrants and the leaking of both the timing of the raids and information emanating from them to a defendant in an on-going lawsuit filed by Project Veritas with the goal of prosecuting this latest abuse of power.
I am calling for Republicans and civil libertarian Democrats in Congress to strongly push for a top-to-bottom shake up of this corrupt ‘law’ enforcement agency. Given the egregious activity chronicled over the past few years, it is only a matter of time before every federal case is forced into judicial review to determine if defendant rights were violated in pursuit of a justice-free conviction.
Richard Manning is President of Americans for Limited Government.
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