By Jeff Childers
Today, we have a special C&C edition: We need to talk about Project Veritas. We were promised answers by Monday, and boy, did we get them. James O’Keefe made an internal resignation video that leaked in about three seconds, and the Board published a wild, literally unbelievable response. Although there is a TON of other breaking news, we need to give this story our full attention for today.
I rounded up lots of thoughts plus some suggestions for current PV employees who must surely be wondering what to do next. Here’s a hint: do what you do best.
🗞*PROJECT VERITAS NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 I was originally going to write this post in the form of a letter to James O’Keefe, part legal advice, part sympathy, part life wisdom. But as I re-watched his video and kept turning the whole thing around in my head, I realized James doesn’t need any advice from me.
What I saw in the video is a positive, confident, happy warrior who is executing a plan and running rings around his enemies.
James, who’s spent years wrangling with Deep State persecution, and who understands better than anyone how those toadstool-gobbling reptiles operate, realized that: Project Veritas has been compromised. /The calls are coming from inside the house./ So he planted charges, leapt aboard the Millennium Falcon, and is racing toward outer space at warp speed. Figuratively, of course.
From what I can tell, James is NOT just operating on instinct. I think he deliberately tested the theory of whether Project Veritas has been infiltrated, by asking the Project Veritas Board to resign. When every single traitorous one of them refused, James had his answer. It doesn’t MATTER whether it was Pfizer, the CIA, the FBI, Russia, Fauci, or even Putin himself. The company has been compromised.
And so James began carefully executing his plan.
(As an aside, the deep-state’s fingerprints are all over Project Veritas’ miniature color revolution. It’s their specialty! They can depose a Shah, an Ayatollah, a Prime Minister, or even a President. Deposing a non-profit CEO is child’s play, a mere trifle.)
Still, James O’Keefe is running rings around them. I suspect that, because of the explosive nature of the Pfizer video, the Deep State had to move a lot faster than it likes, and got a little sloppy.
I’ll explain the whole thing. But first., let’s agree we’ve now heard from both sides, and there’s enough evidence to start forming opinions.
🔥 Remember that I patiently gave the PV Board the benefit of the doubt, even back when things looked really bad? I did not leap to conclusions, or onto the hot-take bandwagon, or join team hyperbole. I waited for evidence. And now we have a lot of evidence.
To my mind, the most meaningful evidence is that the Board has been lying.
That’s right, I’m calling the Board a collective liar. I won’t name the person I spoke with at Project Veritas, because as far as I know she was just repeating what she was told. But I asked her directly and repeatedly: has there been ANY change to O’Keefe’s title, compensation, or employment status? She directly and repeatedly insisted: NO. No change of any kind, just a couple weeks of PTO.
The Board later said the same thing in a public statement: There were no employment status changes.
But they lied. James’ heartfelt resignation video, intended only for internal use, was leaked by whistleblowers and gives us a glimpse into the process’ details. James showed board minutes in the video that clearly reflect that his employment status either DID change (for the worse), or at minimum, the situation was much more nuanced and ambiguous than they were telling us.
So the board lied to me and to the public, violating the company’s core value of Truth — “Veritas” — and becoming what it claims to oppose. Project Veritas’ board failed the challenge when the rubber met the road.
James also described how the Board ambushed him with short notice of the meeting, and how it turned an “emergency meeting” into a seven-hour struggle session bringing in a raft of employees to criticize him.
If true, and I have no reason to think it wasn’t, it was bush league. Amateur hour.
Here’s James’ video. It’s 45 minutes long, and well worth the watch, but you don’t need to watch it now to keep up with the post.
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. I came to the PV … https://t.co/X1lKCnwuif
Next, let’s learn some legal issues everyone’s been dancing around, which will help you understand how it played out this way.
🔥 Over the past couple weeks, James and the PV Board have been engaged in an intricate legal dance that was immediately obvious to corporate lawyers like me. James, the CEO, and the Board members are all “officers” of the company. Officers owe significant duties to the company, duties of loyalty and honest dealing, called “fiduciary” duties.
The most common lawsuit against a corporate officer is for breach of their fiduciary duties. But the first thing they teach lawyers about this area of practice is a gigantic exception: you can’t sue corporate officers for making BAD decisions, no matter how moronic or self-destructive. There’s only a valid claim if the act was intentionally harmful or disloyal.
As an example of a clear breach of fiduciary duty, imagine a board member being bribed by a competitor to vote the company out of a lucrative market, or to dump a profitable product line.
Over the last couple weeks, both James and the Board have each been carefully calculating how they could do various things without getting sued for breaching their respective fiduciary duties. That’s the reason why we haven’t heard much from either side: the less talking there is, the less chance to say something that could be used by the other party in a lawsuit.
I believe the PV Board members know all this will destroy the company. I think they are PRETENDING like they are just making horrible decisions, so that they can defend a future lawsuit for breaching their fiduciary duties. For example, they’ll defend lying about James’ employment status by saying, maybe in hindsight it was a bad decision to lie, but at the time it seemed telling the truth would have hurt the company.
This next email to PV employees from a Board member, leaked last night, is a perfect example. This is supposed to look like damage control — but it’s not. This is a pathetic, barely-trying effort to SIMULATE damage control. If PV were REALLY trying to survive this disaster, the Board would be holding nonstop, in-person, all-hands town hall meetings right now.
If anything, this email will only make PV employees MORE anxious.
Read the email, and ask yourself if it looks like it was written by a board member of a $60M media company:
If this was legit, the board would NOT be sending one-sentence emails without any details or plans about how they’re going to handle the massive tsunami of bad PR racing toward the company RIGHT NOW. How about telling staff how much money is in the war chest to see this thing through? How about explaining what the public relations team is up to, or the social media group? How about reporting on how donors are responding to the breaking news and what’s being said to them?
How about reassuring employees that their jobs are safe?
That email is a fraud. It says nothing. It is an exhibit, the feverish work of a corrupted, dishonest, and lazy board member fraudulently pretending he is “doing something,” only for the purpose of manufacturing some evidence he can use later to defend himself in a future lawsuit. /Look, I tried to save the company, I sent an encouraging email!/
Dude, you did NOT try to save the company. You literally texted it in, and watched the company implode. Plus you are a horrible writer. Try using a period sometime. It’s a very useful punctuation, and it’s conveniently located on the keyboard, requiring only a trivial effort to stick them between your sentences.
Or maybe you were drunk, who knows.
Late yesterday, the Board escalating the conflict with another public statement, now adding to their previous complaints about James’ management style by tacking on brand-new financial mismanagement allegations. Their claims are ridiculous, but never EVER should have been put up on the firm’s website:
In legal terms, something like this is called an “admission.” It’s the kind of thing that invites lawsuits from disgruntled donors to be filed against Project Veritas. It’s literally the best kind of EVIDENCE — an admission from the board!
Setting that boneheaded blunder aside, it’s also an obvious hit job against James. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve advised a corporate officer that people were trying to get rid of him because they were questioning every single expense. It’s the classic “go to” for torpedoing a popular CEO.
You can’t rely on anything in that list anyway. For one example, the $150,000 in “black cars” refers to what appears to be a car service that PV investigators used instead of taxis or Ubers. The Board is complaining the car service is more expensive that rideshare. It’s like the Board members don’t even understand the most basic things about how the company works.
Who wants a PV investigator to be traveling in a random Uber while talking about the different cases? What a dumb idea, for six different security reasons.
Next came the most tone-deaf and ironic paragraph in the Board’s lengthy statement:
I suspect the Board isn’t exactly feeling the love from donors right now. If they do love us, they have a strange way of showing it. And I’m not the only one:
I have requested a refund of my recent donation to @Project_Veritas for obvious reasons. I have informed @JamesOKeefeIII that I will support his new start-up. I believe James will build a new and robust organization that the evildoers of this world will fear even more.9:31 AM ∙ Feb 21, 20238,660Likes1,364Retweets
Kim Dotcom famously ran a matching fund drive the night before we multiplied PV.
The Board ended its dreadful statement like this:
That sounds good but I suspect it was tacked on by the Board’s lawyers, because nothing else the Board is doing is consistent with a goal of “continuing conversations” with James or wanting him not to resign. If you want to talk to him, don’t post a “statement” on the website — CALL James! Pick up the phone, dammit! If he won’t answer, call his lawyers and schedule a meeting.
If the Board really wanted to save the company, they would immediately offer to resign — as I suggested was proper back when this story first broke — and ask James to come back. The fact they won’t do this simple thing tells us everything we need to know.
Finally, there’s nothing uglier than that ultimate, qualified promise of transparency “as more information can be released over time.” What’s stopping them from releasing it now?
The Board’s statement was so awful that it almost seemed designed to accelerate Project Veritas’ collapse.
Anyway, that’s the Board’s perspective. Now let’s look at things from James’ viewpoint.
🔥 Rewind the timeline back two weeks. Once James recovered from his shock over being attacked by his own Board, he probably quickly realized his company had been corrupted, compromised, and crippled. But he couldn’t say any of that publicly. While he was the CEO, he couldn’t do ANYTHING that might hurt the company, ESPECIALLY if it was because he disagreed with the Board, or he’d face a lawsuit.
That’s why James never tweeted during his suspension, and why his video was directed only to employees. James can complain to employees, but he shouldn’t be complaining about the company to the public. You can argue that James knew the video would leak, but James will say he had no reason to think PV’s employees would not uphold their own duties of confidentiality.
James appears to be two steps ahead of the Board. For one thing, they should’ve revoked his access before he came in to work yesterday. But James clearly didn’t tip his hand or they would’ve pulled his passwords and cancelled his key card. James’ mission discipline strongly suggests he is not acting emotionally, but according to a plan.
But what plan? What is the essence of Project Veritas? Is it James O’Keefe? The employees? The Board? Or the desks and computers?
🔥 Most commenters misunderstand James O’Keefe’s wild popularity among conservatives and his value to the PV “brand.” It’s not because regular people have been entertained by PV’s media products. It’s not even because corporate media has basically shut down all other investigative journalism against anyone or anything that matters, and Project Veritas is the only remaining supplier.
James is popular because we are GRATEFUL. And because James gives us HOPE.
He’s not a role model. Nobody expects James O’Keefe to be perfect. Nobody expects him to be a super-boss with wildly empathetic management skills. We don’t want to read his corporate self-help book. His appeal is much more profound than that.
In his infinite wisdom, God created the Deep State. But then He created James O’Keefe, to balance things out.
People instinctively understand there would be NO Project Veritas without James O’Keefe. Who would take his place? None of the Board Members has accomplished anything like James has. As far as we know, none of them has ever popped out of a shrubbery and jammed a hot microphone in a shocked politician’s face.
Nobody even recognizes any of the board (although hopefully, we’ll get to know them much better soon), or knows any of the other employees. In fact, the only reason I can name even one PV employee is just because I’ve spoken to them in the context of our multiplier.
Everyone will follow James O’Keefe. Nobody will stay with Project Veritas. Just look at Twitter. Virtually NOBODY is supporting the Board. The Deep State will not win this round. James is not going to have the least bit of trouble getting his new venture off the ground, and he will enjoy doing recreating the enterprise from scratch with the benefit of abundant capital and real-life hindsight.
James’ new venture will be ten times leaner, meaner, and more effective than the old Project Veritas, with all its baggage, unavoidable design flaws, antagonistic board members, and growth pains. Don’t worry: James will have MASSIVE support for his new venture. Including from C&C.
To be clear: I’m not saying I hope Project Veritas fails without James. To the contrary, I hope it succeeds. I just don’t think that’s very likely. But if it wants any more donations, it will FIRST have to prove it can do what James O’Keefe could do, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof, as we say in the business.
And stop attacking James. Or then we WILL hope for it to fail.
The only material loss is momentum on the Pfizer case, and other investigations that we don’t know about. But at least the Pfizer story appears to have grown legs.
🔥 Last week, eleven members of Congress sent a letter to the FDA, NIH, and HHS, asking for answers related to the Project Veritas — Pfizer story.
It’s some progress. I’ll admit it’s getting harder to pick, but this is still the most important story going.
🔥 Finally, there are a small number of countervailing viewpoints, and that group is getting smaller by the minute. But here’s one rare example:
For people who supposedly champion the work that James O’Keefe and Project Veritas have done, y’all are surprisingly uninterested in VERITAS: TRUTH. Let the truth come out BEFORE you judge, either way. I am taking no sides here. https://t.co/q7QsVqIERE1:08 AM ∙ Feb 21, 2023282Likes41Retweets
Yesterday, we heard from both O’Keefe and the Board. Both sides got to weigh in. The Board could’ve made a video, like James did, or could have published a better statement.
As I said, I think we DO have enough information now to start forming opinions.
✉️ *LETTER TO PV EMPLOYEES* ✉️
Dear PV Employee,
You are probably rightfully feeling angry, shocked, and appalled, and wondering, what the heck is going to happen next? From the outside, it doesn’t look like the Board is handling things very well. My advice is: do your job; do what you’re good at.
And that is, investigate. Whistleblow.
I’m not your lawyer and you shouldn’t take legal advice from me. That said, you owe a duty of loyalty to the company and you mustn’t intentionally do anything to hurt it. But that rule does not apply to revealing unethical, immoral, or illegal conduct. By definition, unethical, immoral, and illegal conduct HURTS the company, and reporting or exposing bad conduct prevents more harm, so blowing the whistle is consistent with a duty of loyalty.
If you aren’t on the investigative team, you could still advocate for transparency, reminding management of the company’s core values (“truth”) and demanding they stop hiding information behind “commercial sensitivity.” You could request an immediate town hall meeting with all the board members, if that hasn’t happened yet. You could press management for details of how they intend to navigate the greatest challenge in the company’s history.
So far, you don’t have to make any big employment decisions, since James hasn’t formed a new venture yet. But you have a chance to make a difference now though. What will you do?
I wish you the best. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. If you need a legal ear, feel free to call my office and I will be happy to confidentially brainstorm with you, no charge. I believe in the mission.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
🪖 Next Month, I’ll be speaking in Atlanta at a new Covid Litigation Conference organized by Steve Kirsch. Our goal is to help prepare a new crop of lawyers to help fight on freedom issues. I have been informed that it is open to non-lawyers who have an interest in the legal issues. Here’s Steve’s promo post:
Steve Kirsch’s newsletter
In March, VSRF is partnering with the Mendenhall Law Group to host the Covid Litigation Conference 2023 (CLC 2023) from March 25-26 in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the next 10 years, Covid lawsuits are expected to see huge growth, an unfortunate development that reflects the need to bring justice in the courts for hundreds of thousands of people negatively im…
6 days ago · 735 likes · 433 comments · Steve Kirsch
Have a terrific Tuesday! I’ll be back tomorrow to get you caught up on all the breaking news.
Join C&C in moving the needle and changing minds. I could use your help getting the truth out and spreading optimism and hope, if you can: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-
© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
Published with author’s permission.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.