New York Times Ordered to Return Project Veritas’ Internal Memos

In a restriction the New York Times said violates decades of First Amendment protections, the newspaper was ordered on Friday by a New York state judge to return internal documents to the conservative activist group Project Veritas.

The Westchester County Supreme Court’s Justice Charles Wood’s unusual written ruling directs NYT to return any physical copies of legal memos prepared by one of the Project Veritas’ lawyers and to destroy electronic versions of the documents.

According to Wood’s ruling, Project Veritas has a right to keep legal memos private since they’re not a matter of public concern and that right outweighs the freedom of the press concerns. Wood maintained that protecting First Amendment freedoms doesn’t mean permission to abrogate the basic right to privacy or the fundamental protections of attorney-client privilege.

Project Veritas’ lawyer Libby Locke called New York Times’ behavior irregular and pointed that Judge Wood’s ruling affirms that view. Lock stressed that NYT has become a vehicle for the prosecution of a partisan political agenda, meanwhile forgetting the meaning of the journalism it claims to espouse.

Freedom of the press advocates blasted Wood last month when he entered a temporary order against the New York Times after Project Veritas objected to NYT article published Nov. 11 that drew from the legal memos.

The article allegedly showed how Project Veritas, led by James O’Keefe, worked with its lawyers to engage in deceptive reporting practices without running afoul of federal laws by using misleading tactics like secret audio recording in exposing alleged liberal media bias.

Justice Department subjected Project Veritas to a probe investigating its possible role in stealing pages of President Joe Biden’s daughter diary that were later published on a right-wing website.

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger announced they’ll appeal the ruling they say bars the newspaper from publishing legally obtained newsworthy information in addition to previously imposed unconstitutional restraint.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.