James O'Keefe, the Founder of Project Veritas of the undercover investigation news organization, posted a video to the website Vimeo on Monday, announcing his departure with stunning details of the dispute between him and Project Veritas’ board of directors.
One America News (OAN) reporter and Veritas-linked journalist Neil McCabe tweeted out the announcement late Monday morning.
"James will make his own way—as he always has before."
Returning to his office to pack up his personal possessions, and standing in front of the Project Veritas’ motto on the wall behind his desk, "Be Brave And Do Something,” O’Keefe read his statement.
He revealed the discrepancies presented to Project Veritas’ donors and the public after the dispute surfaced at the beginning of February.
As the story was initially presented, O’Keefe was placed on paid leave weeks ago then seemingly related to a dispute over the removal of a board member. Then the board reversed O’Keefe’s decision and raised a general complaint about the working conditions at Project Veritas and O’Keefe’s management style.
O’Keefe posted a video to the website Vimeo, detailing how he was stripped of his authority as a board member and as Project Veritas’ CEO.
"Journalism is reporting things powerful people want kept hidden for the wrong reasons," he said during the 45-minute video. "Moral wrongs. Bad behaviors. As journalists we're the custodians of the public's conscience. And as we've gone deeper and deeper, exposing and illuminated corruption ... the line separating good and evil becomes more clear — not just in the institutions we investigate, but within one another. Throughout my 13 years doing this, our mission has evolved from simply being about exposing the truth with some hidden cameras to something more transcendental: giving people hope. That's what we do.”
"... I have felt a lot of despair and seen a lot of evil and felt overcome with various emotions over the last few weeks. You could say I've seen glimpses of heaven and hell — of darkness and light. What I take away from these is the gratitude I have ... What makes us great is we do this work because we actually believe in this ... we don't sell out."
O'Keefe became emotional about how his power was taken from him and was, in effect, forced out.
O’Keefe had been criticized for not being the touchy feely type of boss in the past. During his parting statement, he broke that thread.
"I do love many of you," O'Keefe said. "I never said it, those words, but I'll say it now. I still believe we have a long and bright future together somehow, some way ... When I left the office on Feb. 6 after being stripped of all my authority, I saw my father and gave him a hug. Realizing just how honest and real the man he is. Both my parents are as genuine and down-to-earth as a son can ever have."
O’Keefe reminded his audience of the beginning when he was first raided by the FBI in the early days when he had no money. O’Keefe has taken Project Veritas financially from an annual budget of $700,000 plus to over $20,000,000 plus today.
"There were federal agents showing up at my parent's house," O’Keefe emotionally stated. "There were no donors, no supporters, and I was not trending on Twitter. My father went through this hell with me and stood up to those bullies on the front lawn and told them to stop harassing my family. And at that point that's all I had, was him. I was otherwise completely alone. I will never forget that. Now the good news, we're no longer alone. We have millions of Americans who also know who I am.”
"The mission will perhaps take on a new name, and it may be no longer called Veritas or Project Veritas. I'll need a bunch of people around me, and I'll make sure you know how to find me,” O’Keefe added.
"He just resigns and walks out the door to start a new life," said McCabe. "Now we’ll see: does the organization he created survive?"
O’Keefe reminded his staff that he had not changed over the years. He still stands for truth and tells the truth.
He noted how internal documents and board minutes and meeting which were taped falsely accused him.
One accusation was how O’Keefe spent over $12,000 plus for his wedding. O’Keefe has never been married. There was no wedding. Those costs was for a Project Veritas Christmas party.
The accusations included Project Veritas has used a private jet for fundraising when O’Keefe had east coast, midwest and west coast fundraising events in one day.
Someone internally recommended that Project Veritas conduct their undercover investigations over zoom. O’Keefe found that nonsensical.
As an investigative journalist for 40 years, I wholeheartedly agree. And, when a board misleads the public, donors and staff publicly and makes false accusations, one can only conclude, this story is far from over.
O’Keefe responded the way a true journalist would when people lie - you expose them.
O’Keefe raised the question several times - “Why now? Why now?”
Could it be because of the most recent Project Veritas scoop about Pfizer?
That video has had the most views on social media in the history of Project Veritas.
This story is developing.
Subscribe to our evening newsletter to stay informed during these challenging times!!