(Video: Fox News)
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe appeared Monday evening on Fox News’ “Hannity” for his first interview since the FBI raided his home on Saturday morning as part of a federal investigation into the missing diary that belongs to President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden.
“I woke up to a pre-dawn raid,” O’Keefe told host Sean Hannity. “Banging on my door, I went to my door to answer the door and there were ten FBI agents with a battering ram, white blinding lights, they turned me around, handcuffed me and threw me against the hallway. I was partially clothed in front of my neighbors. They confiscated my phone. They raided my apartment. On my phone were many of my reporters’ notes. A lot of my sources unrelated to this story and a lot of confidential donor information to our news organization.”
O’Keefe was joined by his attorney, Paul Calli, and the guerilla journalist said he was “in a state of shock” as FBI searched his apartment for more than two hours, taking two of his iPhones.
“I’ve heard ‘the process is the punishment.’ I didn’t really understand what that meant until this weekend. And I wouldn’t wish this on any journalist,” he said.
Calli explained that an anonymous source contacted Project Veritas and indicated that they had lawful possession of a copy of the diary that belonged to Ashley Biden and that Veritas counsel negotiated with attorneys representing the source for the right to publish the material. He then stressed that Project Veritas killed the story and not only did they not publish the contents, but that they turned the material over to local law enforcement.
The attorney called the actions by Biden’s Justice Department “outrageous and unprecedented,” and said if the diary was stolen, which has been alleged, “nobody knows if that’s the case.”
“This is an attack on the First Amendment by the Department of Justice,” O’Keefe told Hannity, stressing that he could not authenticate the diary and did not publish the story.
Sounding a warning to all journalists, O’Keefe said that if he can be targeted in such a manner, so too can others.
“They’ve crossed a bridge here,” he said of the FBI. “If they can do this to me — this is about certain principles that are so fundamental to our First Amendment in this country. I’m calling upon all journalists to take a stand against this. A source comes to us with information, I didn’t even decide to publish it. If they can do this to me, if they can do it to this journalist and raid my home and take my reporter notes, they’ll do it to any journalist.”
“This is about something very fundamental in this country,” O’Keefe continued. “I don’t know which direction this country is going in. But journalists everywhere have to rise up because we broke no laws here. If they can do it to me, they’ll do it to anybody.”
The pre-dawn raid on O’Keefe’s apartment came two days after the FBI raided the homes of two Project Veritas reporters. In a scathing response, O’Keefe said that “within an hour” of the raid of one of the reporters, the New York Times contacted that person for comment.
“We don’t know how the New York Times was aware of the execution of a search warrant at our reporter’s home or the subject matter of the search warrant as a grand jury investigation is secret,” O’Keefe said. “The FBI took materials of current, former Project Veritas journalists despite the fact that our legal team previously contacted the Department of Justice and voluntarily conveyed unassailable facts that demonstrate Project Veritas’ lack of involvement in criminal activity, and or criminal intent.”
“Our efforts were the stuff of responsible ethical journalism, and we are in no doubt that Project Veritas acted properly at each and every step,” he asserted.
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