On Thursday, the Project Veritas Board desperately tried to patch things up with their donors and supporters after ousting the nonprofit’s founder, James O’Keefe.
O’Keefe, who has been the face of Project Veritas since day one, was removed from his position as CEO by the company’s board of directors for dubious reasons.
The removal — which curiously came soon after Project Veritas exposed pharma giant Pfizer in a viral undercover video — was supposedly due to his “treatment” of staff and some financial decisions that the board was concerned about.
O’Keefe recently released a video in which he discussed his removal in front of Project Veritas staff.
“The only thing that has changed is we broke the biggest story in our organization’s history,” he said regarding the Pfizer exposé, a video he argued had become “a global phenomenon” due to having over 50 million views.
“And then suddenly, an unusual emergency happened just a few days after that,” O’Keefe added before delving into the timeline of how his removal unfolded.
Now, the Project Veritas board is claiming that they didn’t actually remove him — they just suspended him for an indefinite period until supposed audits could take place.
PJ Media noted that “now Project Veritas is back with another clarification basically saying, hey, we never threatened his job; trust us!”
In an email from the “Project Veritas Team” — where the subject line claimed “we hold everyone accountable, especially ourselves” — the board tried to downplay their actions and begged donors not to stop sending money.
The email distinctly separated “the team” from the board, while suggesting that Project Veritas is being blasted by O’Keefe’s supporters.
The “team” noted that they hope “you might continue to give us a chance. We can’t stress how separate the board’s role is from daily operations here at PV. We are still grinding and pursuing stories of great public importance.”
“James’ ‘removal’ was not a removal. He specifically said he did not resign, and the board did not fire him. The board placed him on a temporary suspension until the audit was completed,” they claimed. “The board wanted him to delegate management of staff to the department heads so he can focus his true talent, efforts, and best use of his time on the journalism/stories and less on the day-to-day personnel management.”
“For what it’s worth, there are 60+ of us here at PV who remain passionately dedicated to James’ mission,” they added. “It is what brought all of us together. While we cannot control online narratives, and unfortunately cannot chime in to individually defend ourselves in the public sphere at present, we can assure you we remain steadfast and determined to expose corruption.”
Of course, O’Keefe actually provided evidence to back up his side of the story during his 45-minute long video discussing his removal, while the board apparently expects people to just trust them.
The email also included a video showing the faces and names of Project Veritas reporters — individuals who have typically had their identities kept secret because of their undercover journalism work — in an apparent attempt to show that O’Keefe is not the only one at Project Veritas who does the heavy lifting for stories.
PJ Media argued that the video shared in the email “was meant to convey that we’re still in business! Please love us!”
However, Project Veritas has received significant backlash on social media over their decision — including losing numerous followers on Twitter, while O’Keefe has gained followers.
Donors have also announced their decision to no longer support Project Veritas, with some even demanding their money back.
“I am actively requesting all funds back from @Project_Veritas – Execs of the Veritas coordinated a fundraising event with me & James O’Keefe on @TwitterSpaces, Jan 28th 2023, knowing they were ousting @JamesOKeefeIII,” wrote donor Grant Cardone, CEO of Cardone Capital.
Cardone also accused Project Veritas of “deceptive charity campaign practices,” going on to reiterate his demand for a refund, stating: “Project Veritas Immediately send 100% of funds back today to all who contributed on 1/28/2023 and up to when O’Keefe was ousted!”
In an attempt to explain their actions against O’Keefe, the board has claimed that he may have misspent company funds. The Project Veritas board lied at least once in their claims, stating that he spent company funds on his wedding — despite the fact that O’Keefe has never been married. They claimed that they only wanted O’Keefe out until a “two-dimensional” audit could be done.