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March 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Project Veritas has won a victory as part of its defamation lawsuit against the New York Times, with New York Supreme Court Justice Charles Wood denying the paper’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit concerning its coverage of the conservative group’s investigation of ballot harvesting in Minnesota.
Last September, Project Veritas released undercover video detailing an alleged ballot-harvesting scheme orchestrated by allies of Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar. The Times characterized the group’s work as “deceptive,” not in its opinion pages but in ostensible news reporting, prompting the lawsuit.
“Stating that the video is ‘deceptive’ and stating ‘without verifiable evidence’ in a factual way in a news article certainly presents the statement as fact, not opinion,” Wood wrote in his decision. “Further, the [Maggie] Astor and [Tiffany] Hsu Articles [the authors of the reporting in question] could be viewed as exposing Veritas to ridicule and harm to its reputation as a media source because the reader may read these news Articles, expecting facts, not opinion, and conclude that Veritas is a partisan zealot group, deceptively editing video, and presenting it as news.”
“If a writer interjects an opinion in a news article (and will seek to claim legal protections as opinion) it stands to reason that the writer should have an obligation to alert the reader … that it is opinion,” the judge determined. He also agreed that Project Veritas had shown “a substantial basis in law and fact that the Defendants acted with actual malice, that is, with knowledge that the statements in the Articles were false or made with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not.”
One of the outcomes of Project Veritas being allowed to continue with the lawsuit is that it will be able to subject Times personnel to the discovery process.
“This ruling means Project Veritas will now be able to put New York Times reporter Maggie Astor and New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet under oath where they will be forced to answer our questions,” Veritas founder James O’Keefe says. “Project Veritas will record these depositions and expose them for the world to see.”
Former President Donald Trump congratulated the conservative investigators “on their big win on The New York Times; now the suit will continue, and whatever you can do for their legal defense fund, we’re with them all the way.”