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‘Lawyer up, CNN’: Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe files defamation lawsuit

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Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe announced on Monday that he is suing CNN for defamation after anchor Ana Cabrera made a false claim about his guerilla news outlet’s permanent suspension from Twitter — O’Keefe was recently banned after he released several embarrassing videos exposing the network’s left-wing bias.

The lawsuit against CNN follows lawsuits filed against Twitter and The New York Times.

“Just last week we sued Twitter for defamation,” O’Keefe explained in a video shared on YouTube. “All of this comes off the heels of our win in the New York state supreme court, in a historic motion granting us discovery into the New York Times and a defamation action after they called us deceptive.”

Citing a CNN broadcast on Feb. 14, which came three days after Twitter permanently banned Project Veritas for “posting private information,” O’Keefe highlighted Cabrera saying the social media platform’s action was part of “a crack down to try to stop the spread of misinformation and to hold some people who are spreading it accountable.”

Referencing a Feb. 11 tweet from the CNN anchor citing Twitter’s stated reasoning, he then said Cabrera knew the actual reason, arguing that this proves malice.

“The greatest irony here is everyone in the media accuses us of misinformation when that’s precisely what they do,” O’Keefe concluded, adding this advice for the network, “Lawyer up, CNN.”

The lawsuit was filed in Georgia, which is where CNN’s world headquarters is located.

“Project Veritas is an investigative journalism organization whose reputation depends on its ethical and transparent conduct, and its production of reliable and accurate news reporting,” the suit reads. “By claiming Project Veritas was ‘spreading misinformation,’ CNN directly damaged and impugned Project Veritas’s reputation. CNN’s factual claim that Project Veritas was banned for “promoting misinformation,” instead of truthful reporting of private facts, is patently and demonstrably false, and CNN maliciously made its claims with knowledge they were false or with reckless disregard for their falsity.”

The lawsuit comes one week after O’Keefe sued Twitter for suspending his account for allegedly operating “fake accounts.” A claim he categorically denies.

“The false accusation that Mr. O’Keefe operated ‘fake accounts’ is particularly damaging for Mr. O’Keefe because Mr. O’Keefe is a journalist,” that complaint reads. “As such, his reputation for transparency and accurate reporting is fundamental to his profession.”

Twitter took action right after Project Veritas released secretly-recorded video of CNN technical director Charles Chester claiming the network’s “focus” in the 2020 election was to “get rid of” former President Donald Trump, and that they used “propaganda” to achieve this.

Chester also claimed CNN hyped the coronavirus death toll for “gangbuster” ratings, and that the network worked to “help” Black Lives Matter.

O’Keefe appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” to forewarn that the legal action against CNN was coming and that he will not settle in the case.

“There are people on Twitter who are impersonating me who still remain on Twitter,” O’Keefe said, stating that he will depose Twitter founder Jack Dorsey under oath.

Announcing that he would sue CNN on Monday, he added “not even Twitter alleges that I was banned, or Project Veritas was banned, for disinformation.”

“Every day in this country, people are defamed and lied about constantly, and they don’t have a will, the money, the resources, to fight back. So Veritas is going to be the tip of that spear,” O’Keefe told host Maria Bartiromo.

“We don’t settle,” he added. “We fight all the way to a jury verdict, and we have never lost.”

Tom Tillison

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