This story has been edited and updated following publication.
MAMARONECK, New York (LifeSiteNews) — James O’Keefe is no longer with undercover conservative journalistic operation Project Veritas. While O’Keefe says he was removed from his role by the Board of Directors, the nonprofit has stated that he resigned following tensions regarding his alleged “financial malfeasance.”
The news comes after O’Keefe was reportedly placed on administrative leave by the Project Veritas board earlier this month, leading to rampant speculation regarding his future with the organization he founded and led.
On Monday morning One America News Network (OANN) reporter Neil McCabe said that O’Keefe, McCabe’s “friend and former boss at [Project Veritas], just read his resignation letter to his former team and board members at their Mamaroneck, N.Y. headquarters.”
“James will make his own way—as he always has before,” McCabe said.
Former Project Veritas journalist R.C. Maxwell disputed McCabe’s recounting, however, arguing that O’Keefe didn’t resign but was kicked out by the nonprofit’s board of directors.
“James was removed from his position as CEO by the Project Veritas board,” he wrote. “They are in charge now.”
Later on Monday, in a video apparently filmed at the Project Veritas headquarters and posted on social media, O’Keefe said he was “stripped of my authority as CEO and removed from the board of directors.”
Since it’s already out there, here are my heartfelt remarks to my staff this morning.
I need to make clear I have not resigned from the company, Project Veritas, I founded 13 years ago. I was stripped of my position as CEO and Chairman.
— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) February 21, 2023
O’Keefe said his “conflict’ with the company leadership stemmed from “tactical disagreements” surrounding fundraising and the production of content.
“We measure in terms of what we produce, not just in terms of our wallets,” O’Keefe said. He explained that an altercation with a Project Veritas officer earlier this month concerning the conflict had “boiled over” and led to O’Keefe firing the individual.
Later that day, he said another officer within Project Veritas called for an “emergency vote to restructure this company.” He said he received notification of the meeting as he was already on-board a flight to Nashville.
According to O’Keefe, that’s when he realized that “I would be removed from my position at Project Veritas by the time I landed at my destination.”
“So, our mission continues on. I’m not done,” O’Keefe said. “The mission will perhaps take on a new name and it may be no longer called [Project] Veritas. I will need a bunch of people around me. And I’ll make sure you know how to find me.”
The full video can be viewed here.
Social media users supportive of O’Keefe received the news of his exit from Project Veritas with an outpouring of support for the controversial 38-year-old journalist.
Many repeated a general sentiment shared in the previous days and weeks that O’Keefe and Project Veritas were one and the same, and that O’Keefe’s supporters will follow him to whatever new venture he decides to launch.
Breaking: James O’Keefe out at Projrct Veritas and I’m told he didn’t resign! Not sure what PV does without James. We need to continue the mission of exposing the left. The radicle left has entire trillion dollar enterprises running cover for them. We had James.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 20, 2023
The turmoil within Project Veritas culminating in Monday’s news has come hard on the heels of the journalistic outfit’s blockbuster report about Pfizer’s alleged involvement in mutating the COVID virus to make new vaccines.
The timing of O’Keefe’s administrative leave in connection with the Pfizer report had sparked controversy and rumors on social media concerning the reasons for the board’s actions against O’Keefe.
Project Veritas had attempted to quell rumors regarding O’Keefe’s potential ouster since he was reportedly placed on leave earlier this month.
On February 15, executive director Daniel R. Strack wrote in a statement that the “narrative” portrayed by media outlets concerning O’Keefe having been pushed out of the organization was “patently false.”
“James has not been removed from Project Veritas. Nowhere in that letter was there ever a suggestion to remove James from the organization,” he said at the time.
Strack acknowledged that “the timing of this situation alongside the biggest story in our organization’s history is confusing,” something which he said has exposed the issue to “conspiracy theories.”
The Project Veritas Board of Directors released a statement late Monday arguing that O’Keefe’s indefinite suspension leading up to what the Board referred to as his resignation had hinged on the journalist’s alleged “financial malfeasance”.
According to the nonprofit, O’Keefe had used donor funds to finance a large amount of “personal luxuries.”
“Although PV Leadership has not concluded looking into the full scale of financial issues over the years, a preliminary review at this time indicates that James has spent an excessive amount of donor funds in the last three years on personal luxuries. More is still being uncovered during the ongoing review at this time,” the statement read. “
Contrary to many reports from today, James was suspended indefinitely pending the resolution of a fulsome investigation and clarity which will need to be provided by a third party investigative audit report,” Project Veritas said.
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) February 21, 2023
Moreover, the journalistic outfit said that O’Keefe’s firing of its CFO violated its bylaws since he did so “unilaterally”, rather than “with Board approval.”
Project Veritas said its “Board and Management made numerous attempts in the last 14 days to have a conversation with James, but he ignored our outreach and decided to instead leak private information to others, either by doing so himself or by proxy.”
“Today, James O’Keefe decided to remove his belongings from Project Veritas headquarters,” the statement read.
“Even with all of this public fallout, the Board still wants to speak with James,” the statement continued. “We did not fire him, nor do we want him to resign. We would like to continue conversations with James to resolve internal matters rather than litigate them publicly.”
Concluding, Project Veritas said it “will continue to be transparent with the public as more information can be released over time. The fight for truth will never stop.”
Read the full statement here.