Founder James O’Keefe Removed as Project Veritas CEO by Board of Directors

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, a conservative investigative nonprofit known for hidden camera stings, announced he had been removed as CEO by the group’s board in a video posted online Monday.


James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, a conservative investigative nonprofit known for hidden camera stings, announced he had been removed as CEO by the group’s board in a video posted online Monday.

  • In the nearly hourlong video of O’Keefe addressing staff at the right-wing organization, he said the board had removed him from his position and taken away all decision-making power. “Currently, I have no job at Project Veritas. I have no position here based on what the board [has] done,” O’Keefe said.
  • Project Veritas’s board accused O’Keefe of “financial malfeasance” and spending “an excessive amount of donor funds” on “personal luxuries.” O’Keefe’s alleged wasteful expenses “included “$14,000 on a charter flight to meet someone to fix his boat under the guise of meeting with a donor”; $60,000 in losses from dance events; more than $150,000 “in Black Cars in the last 18 months”; and others.”
  • O’Keefe’s ouster reportedly came after a clash with the group’s chief financial officer and chief strategy officer. O’Keefe allegedly tried to remove both men, but the board kept both and placed O’Keefe on leave. Staff then produced a memo detailing O’Keefe’s alleged financial misconduct along with allegations of mistreating staff.
  • The nonprofit organization reportedly brought in more than $20 million in revenue in 2021. Federal prosecutors searched Project Veritas’ offices as part of an investigation into the sale of a diary belonging to President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley to Project Veritas for $40,000. Two Florida residents pled guilty to the theft and sale of the diary in 2022.
  • Project Veritas was founded in 2010 and is best known for its undercover sting operations that have embarrassed Democratic politicians, labor unions, liberal nonprofits, and media organizations.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Daily Beast reported the employee memo on O’Keefe’s management style accused him of “outright cruel” conduct towards his subordinates. O’Keefe defended his practices in his departure video, saying, “Leadership has a price, and results often come at a human cost.”
  • The New York Times observed “the board also left open the possibility of working things out with Mr. O’Keefe. ‘We did not fire him, nor do we want him to resign,’ the board statement said. ‘We would like to continue conversations with James to resolve internal matters rather than litigate them publicly.’”
  • The Washington Post noted “O’Keefe’s tactics have sometimes put him in legal jeopardy.” In addition to the Ashley Biden diary probe, O’Keefe “pleaded guilty in 2010 to a misdemeanor charge of entering a federal building under false pretenses [and] agreed in 2013 to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit arising from his efforts to target a community organizing group.”



  • Breitbart reported, “Several of Project Veritas’s benefactors sent a cease and desist demand letter to the organization’s board following its placement of O’Keefe on paid leave. They characterized the removal of O’Keefe as violative of Project Veritas’s fiduciary obligations towards use of raised funds for the organization’s stated purposes, highlighting the organization’s emphasis on O’Keefe in its fundraising solicitations.”
  • Fox News recalled some of Project Veritas’ biggest stories, including “the leaked hot mic moment of then-ABC News anchor Amy Robach revealing the network “quashed” her Jeffrey Epstein story during the 2016 election cycle and the leaked CNN editorial calls showing top bosses deciding to avoid the Hunter Biden scandal during the 2020 election.”
  • National Review observed that O’Keefe appeared to link his ouster with the group’s ongoing investigation into Pfizer. O’Keefe’s removal “came on the heels of the release of an undercover video that allegedly showed a Pfizer research director expressing concerns about Covid-19 vaccines and acknowledging that his company planned to mutate the coronavirus through “directed evolution.” On Monday, O’Keefe called the Pfizer sting the “biggest story in our organization’s history,” but stopped short of stating directly that it was connected to his downfall.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2023