Project Veritas is known for being the right-wing group that doctors videos to create a false narrative about an organization or company. They've been caught hiring people or paying people to feed bogus stories to reporters. Over and over, Project Veritas has been shown to be a fraud and some of their so-called "sting operations" have led to lawsuits.
Such was the case with their recent selectively edited claims about CNN and a conference call they managed to record ahead of the 2020 election. According to CNN, however, O'Keefe may have broken the law too.
As the Washington Post explained, the group has spent the last several years "surreptitiously recording and releasing videos of unsuspecting CNN employees" to attack the network and create a narrative to corroborate President Donald Trump's attacks.
The group claimed that they've been calling into CNN's daily morning editorial calls and recording them along with CNN President Jeff Zucker. In the recent video, O'Keefe himself can be seen calling into the private call, without the knowledge or consent of participants.
"CNN public relations staff said this move might have broken the law — and that 'we’ve referred it to law enforcement,'” the Post revealed. The network didn't give any details, but they're likely correct.
Given that it is a network-wide editorial call, it means there are people from all over the country dialing into the line. Each person in whatever state they're calling from has their own individual laws protecting them against being recorded without their knowledge.
"A company individual" specifically cited California, "where recording a call without the permission of the people involved can draw a fine up to $2,500 and a prison sentence of up to a year, according to state law."
O'Keefe claimed that he has his own lawyers and that Zucker is "just mad and embarrassed." He claimed, “Project Veritas follows the law.”
That's certainly not true, they were sued in 2017 for lying to a Democratic consulting group to place wiretaps and listening devices, in violation of the law. It wasn't their first time attempting to wiretap someone either. In 2010, O'Keefe and his colleagues were arrested when they got into a federal government complex dressed as telephone repairmen to plant a wiretap in U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office. They were arrested and charged with "entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony."
O’Keefe said his organization “was given access to the CNN calls by a brave insider," the Post reported.