EXCLUSIVE: Fired Project Veritas journalists who reported on Ashley Biden diary claim new leadership denied them legal protection

"I would later learn secondhand that the matters being discussed were removing indemnification from journalists."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Former Project Veritas journalists have revealed to The Post Millennial that the organization removed legal protection from its journalists while they were facing a federal investigation. Founded by James O'Keefe in 2011, Project Veritas has been under new leadership with O'Keefe being ousted by the board earlier this year. Hannah Giles became CEO in June.

The video statement features Christian Hartsock, former Project Veritas Chief Investigative Journalist and board ombudsman, and other former employees acting as whistleblowers against Giles and the board. These employees were all fired earlier this month.

Hartsock said that over the past month, board president Joe Barton held secret meetings in which Hartsock, who represented the employees to the board of directors, didn’t get an invite.

Hartsock showed text messages from Barton, who replied "no sh*t" when Hartsock said he didn’t get an invite to one of these meetings.

Barton said that these were "special" meetings, and Hartsock attested that he was told these meetings discussed matters that didn’t concern employees.

"I would later learn secondhand that the matters being discussed were removing indemnification from journalists, exposing them to civil and criminal liability for field work assigned to them by Project Veritas," Hartsock said.

The former Veritas employees, recently terminated earlier this month, shared a video dated July 31, 2023, showing Giles begging for donations for the express purpose of providing legal representation for former Project Veritas journalists. Two of those journalists are facing federal charges over their reporting on Ashley Biden's diary. The diary was given to O'Keefe during his tenure with the company, and he turned it over to authorities. Those two journalists now lacking legal representation are Spencer Meads and Eric Cochran.

An email from August 9 revealed that on August 8, 2023, just over a week after the video was published, the board of directors voted to no longer indemnify Meads and Cochran, removing legal funding and protection from these two former staff members.

In an August 10 set of text messages to Giles, Hartsock wrote, "does the [board] realize just a week ago we put out the Ashley Biden story saying we are supporting them."

"We will look like unethical idiots," Hartsock added. "We tried to raise money off of that."

"And I was still being disinvited from special board meetings," Hartsock said. "It became clear to me that this was a cowardly cover-up by CEO Hannah Giles and board president Joe Barton, while brave resilient Project Veritas journalists were still actively working undercover in the field and unbeknownst to them without legal protection."

He added that in addition to this, a fundraising email had been sent out "soliciting donations expressly for the purpose of providing for our journalist and former employees’ legal defense, secretly removing this protection while taking donations for it potentially constituted wire fraud and mail fraud."

Just hours after bringing this to the attention of the journalists, Hartsock said he was fired by Giles.

Hartsock and multiple former Project Veritas employees called for support for Meads and Cochran, whose homes were raided by the FBI over their involvement in reporting on Ashley Biden's diary, which came to the organization via a source.

On Tuesday evening, it was revealed that board members George Skakel and John Garvey had resigned from their roles.

Earlier this month, on August 17, a majority of Project Veritas staff were fired, with just 18 people remaining on staff at the time.

Earlier this year, the board of directors forced O'Keefe out from his leading role at the company he founded, with a letter from employees to the board, which resulted in O'Keefe's ouster, reading, "The undersigned is troubled and frustrated with James’ management style and business acumen. These behaviors and actions are antithetical to our core values, and it came to a head this week."

The letter alleged wrongful termination, lack of transparency in decision-making, as well we O'Keefe being difficult to work with, belligerent, and mean.

Sign in to comment


Powered by The Post Millennial CMS™ Comments

Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2024 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information