Earlier today the NY Times reported that the FBI had carried out search warrants at locations in New York as part of a DOJ investigation of the alleged theft of a diary belonging to Joe Biden’s 39-year-old daughter Ashley:
The Justice Department searched two locations associated with the conservative group Project Veritas as part of an investigation into how a diary stolen from President Biden’s daughter, Ashley, came to be publicly disclosed a week and a half before the 2020 presidential election, according to people briefed on the matter.
Federal agents in New York conducted the court-ordered searches on Thursday — one in New York City and one in suburban Westchester County — targeting people who had worked with the group and its leader, James O’Keefe, according to two of the people briefed on the events. The investigation is being handled by F.B.I. agents and federal prosecutors in Manhattan who work on public corruption matters, the people said…
Project Veritas did not publish Ms. Biden’s diary, but dozens of handwritten pages from it were posted on a right wing website on Oct. 24, 2020, at a time when President Donald J. Trump was seeking to undermine Mr. Biden’s credibility by portraying his son, Hunter, as engaging in corrupt business dealings. The posting was largely ignored by other conservative outlets and the mainstream media.
The website said it had obtained the diary from a whistle-blower who worked for a media organization that refused to publish a story about it before the election.
A short while ago, Project Veritas’ founder James O’Keefe released a video giving his side of the story. O’Keefe says he was approached by a tipster he didn’t know who offered him the diary (or a copy) but who also said they were negotiating a sale of the diary to another site. O’Keefe said Project Veritas tried to verify the diary was real and that the things discussed in it had really happened but ultimately could not do either. “At the end of the day, we made the ethical decision that because in part we could not determine if the diary was real, if the diary in fact belonged to Ashley Biden, or if the contents of the diary occurred, we could not publish the diary in any part thereof,” O’Keefe said.
Project Veritas attempted to give the diary to an attorney for Ashley Biden who refused it and then they wound up giving it to law enforcement so it could be returned to its owner.
The other site, the one that did publish excerpts from the diary, claimed it was brought to them by someone working for another outlet. an outlet that was unwilling to publish it. I wonder if that other outlet was Project Veritas and the person who leaked it to the other site is someone who works or worked for them. That’s pure speculation on my part and I don’t have any inside info, I’m just trying to piece together what others are saying. Still, it might help explain the search warrants today. But the Times story closes with this, suggesting some behind the scenes connections between Project Veritas and the site that eventually published the diary:
At one point, Project Veritas relied on a former British spy named Richard Seddon to help train its operatives, teaching them espionage tactics such as using deception to secure information from potential targets.
Flyover Media, the company that owns the website that published the pages from the diary, is registered to the same Sheridan, Wyo., address as Mr. Seddon’s company, Branch Six Consulting International.
O’Keefe notes the cover letter for a grand jury subpoena he received today asked him not to reveal the existence of the subpoena to keep the ongoing investigation secret. However, he says about an hour after the search warrants were served he got a call from the NY Times asking for comment. So it appears someone leaked word of what was going on to the Times before O’Keefe said anything about it.
Finally, does the fact that this investigation is taking place mean this really was Ashley Biden’s diary all along? The Times story seems to assume that’s the case. Here’s O’Keefe’s full statement.
Update: The FBI raided James O’Keefe’s apartment at 6 am this morning. Once again, the NY Times seems to know every move being made in this case.
The F.B.I. carried out a court-ordered search of Mr. O’Keefe’s apartment in Mamaroneck, N.Y., early on Saturday morning, after having searched the homes of two associates of Mr. O’Keefe on Thursday as part of the investigation…
Brent Mickol, a teacher who lives across the hall from Mr. O’Keefe, said it was about 6 a.m. when agents arrived. Mr. Mickol said the agents said “something along the lines of ‘F.B.I. Warrant. Open up.’”
“I ran to the door and looked out the peep hole and clearly saw an F.B.I. raid,” he said. “You saw the jackets. Literally, it was just out of a movie.”
There’s not much more in the new story beyond what was reported yesterday.