On May 10, James O'Keefe of Project Veritas gave his opening statement on the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation's overreach on members of the press. O'Keefe delivered his statement to members of Congress.
The House Judiciary Committee recently showed unanimous bipartisan support for new legislation protecting journalists from government overreach. This hearing received little media coverage.
House Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina was sympathetic to O'Keefe's ordeal and questioned how far the DOJ and FBI appear to have gone in this case. Here is the transcript:
O'Keefe: "Ashley Biden's attorney, a woman named Roberta Kaplan, responded by saying, 'We should send to the southern district of New York. In just 24 days, Ms. Kaplan got her political favor fulfilled when the Southern District of New York approved the first of nineteen secret subpoenas.'"
Rep Norman: "Is this collusion, in your opinion, with what's happening really to both of you all in your opinion?"
O'Keefe: "I think Ashley Biden's attorney's statement about 'we should send to the Southern District of New York' is self-evident. There is also a poster in the room. You can see the four photos there; we find this extraordinary that Roberta Kaplan is the same attorney [representing] Ashley Biden. She's also the same attorney for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and she represents the woman married to the son of the U.S. attorney who signed all the secret warrants against me. So, those are the facts, and [they] are pretty self-evident facts, and I don't wish to opine beyond the facts."
Rep Norman: "That's unbelievable. Every American needs to know what not only you all have gone through but to see these facts."
O'Keefe: "There's disparate treatment at the Department of Justice, including how they define journalists. A journalist is a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, and edits information that concerns national stories."
O'Keefe: "The Southern District of New York wrote in pleadings that I'm not a journalist because I don't get permission from the subjects I investigate. So that directly contradicts common sense as well as the law. So obviously, we can't trust the Department of Justice with the power to define who is and who is not a journalist depending upon who's in charge. That goes against everything the First Amendment stands for, Sir."