Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe refers to Maass and others who lead the stings as journalists. Voting an appeal, he said the jury’s verdict endangered the hidden camera work of a wide range of journalists.
“The jury effectively held that investigative journalists owe a fiduciary duty to the subjects they investigate and that investigative journalists cannot mislead the subjects they investigate,” said O’Keefe, who has was named accused in the trial and served on the defense. table during the trial. “Journalism is judged and Project Veritas will continue to fight for the right of every journalist to gather information, investigate and report wrongdoing, regardless of the power of the party under investigation. Project Veritas will not be intimidated.
A Miami-based attorney who represented Project Veritas, Paul Calli, argued at trial that the group’s activities were part of “the finest American tradition called muckraking.”
“The race is long. The fight continues because this case involves fundamental First Amendment issues,” Calli said Thursday. “People to my left prefer to ignore that fact and go party and celebrate on Twitter because in this case the reporter is not someone they ‘like’ or agree with and has rather exposed the soft white underbelly of their party.We’ll see what the finish line brings.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman, who oversaw the week-long trial, could still impose punitive damages related to a wiretap violation found by the jury. However, the jury ruled in favor of Project Veritas on a claim that Maass illegally recorded a meeting she was not a party to.
Friedman is also still considering the motions Project Veritas and the other defendants made during the trial that the Democratic and Creamer companies failed to prove any violations of the law by the group.