Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the New York homes of people tied to the conservative group Project Veritas on Friday. The raid comes months after the group received a diary that a tipster claimed belonged to President Joe Biden’s youngest daughter Ashley Biden.
The raid was revealed by James O’Keefe, the leader of the organisation, in a video posted on YouTube. O’Keefe said that his organization had received a grand jury subpoena and current and former Project Veritas employees had their homes searched by federal agents.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed that agents had conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at an apartment in Manhattan and an address in Mamaroneck in Westchester County. The US attorney’s office in Manhattan offered no comment on the raid, the Associated Press reported.
The conservative group is known for using hidden cameras and hiding identities to try to ensnare journalists in embarrassing conversations and to reveal supposed liberal bias.
O’Keefe said his group never threatened anyone or “engaged in any illegal conduct.” He said there was “no doubt Project Veritas acted appropriately at each and every step.”
In the video, O’Keefe says that his group was contacted late last year by “tipsters” who had claimed to have a copy of Ashley Biden’s diary.
The tipsters said the diary had been “abandoned in a room” after she left the room, O’Keefe said, adding that the tipsters said the diary had “explosive allegations against then Presidential candidate Joe Biden.”
He said the group’s lawyers had been in contact with the Justice Department before the searches, which were first reported by The New York Times, and had “conveyed unassailable facts that demonstrate Project Veritas’ lack of involvement in criminal activity and/or criminal intent.”
O’Keefe said the tipsters who had provided the diary had contacted the group and at the time said they were also negotiating with another organization to sell the information. Ultimately, Project Veritas did not publish information from the diary, in part because the group could not determine if it belonged to Ashley Biden, or if the information was authentic, he said.
O’Keefe said his group tried to return the diary to a lawyer for Ashely Biden and later provided it to law enforcement, though he did not specify which agency the group contacted.
(With AP inputs)