O’Keefe’s lawyer on Twitter’s behavior: “It’s unacceptable. It’s a cartel-type behavior and we citizens must stand up against it in the courts.”
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe announced a lawsuit against Twitter after the platform suspended him for allegedly violating its rules “on platform manipulation and spam.”
O’Keefe also decided to sue CNN and two journalists, Brian Stelter and Ana Cabrera, for defamation.
O’Keefe and his lawyer Harmeet Dhillon expanded on the lawsuit on Sean Hannity’s show:
It’s wrong what they’re doing. They defamed millions of people. They defame people every day. We will not lose. In fact, we’re going to get discovery into Twitter’s operations. We can’t afford to lose. We’ve never lost a lawsuit. And we’re going to prove malice here. We’re going to file a complaint on Monday.
They did this after we released all these bombshell reporting into CNN, calling themselves propaganda. It’s pretty extraordinary timing, but there are fundamental principles we have to fight for. I’m confident we’re going to create an army of people that are going to follow in our footsteps.
Project Veritas released three videos featuring CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester. He confirmed the network engages in propaganda and frames its narrative to protect the Black Lives Matter movement.
Unfortunately, O’Keefe is not the first person Twitter has suspiciously banned. Dhillon said:
Twitter makes specific factual statements about our client that are false. And even with the malice standard those are actionable because Twitter controls that information so Twitter has used this type of device to make false allegations against individuals in order to suspend them time and time again. Very few individuals, very few targets have the resources and the, frankly, the spine that Project Veritas demonstrates time again to stand up so for every James O’Keefe there are thousands of Americans who write to me about this issue and they don’t have the wherewithal to stand up.
And what these companies are doing is coordinating. It is no accident that devastating critique of CNN that came out day after day this week resulted in the censorship and permanent suspension of this voice. It’s unacceptable. It’s a cartel-type behavior and we citizens must stand up against it in the courts.
O’Keefe noted a judge on the New York Supreme Court ruled the Project Veritas defamation suit against The New York Times could continue. The judge chastised the publication “for blurring the lines between news and opinion” in a report about a video:
The judge ruled the lawsuit can go forward, finding that Project Veritas showed sufficient evidence that The New York Times may have been motivated by “actual malice” and acted with “reckless disregard” when it ran several articles against the investigative journalism outfit.
“[I]f 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, including a court that may need to determine whether it is factor opinion, that it is opinion,” Judge Charles Wood of the New York State Supreme Court said in his March 18, 2021 ruling.
O’Keefe hopes his lawsuit encourages others to move against Big Tech when they defame them:
Sean, not only are we going to get discovery, we’ve already passed motion to dismiss in New York Supreme Court, a lot of people are going to be suing. This about a people’s defamation defencement. So many people are lied about by the media and this is about fundamental principles, taking on tyranny. A guy at CNN claiming they’re propaganda and yet Twitter suspends me so we are not going to lose.
We cannot afford to lose. We will depose Twitter people about what they wrote. I will publish those depositions on YouTube where the only ones who can do it. I will be the tip of that spear and we’re going to create a movement of people.
I’m also going to sue CNN for what Anna Cabrera said about me and that’ll pass motion to dismiss as well.
The lawsuit against CNN stems from Twitter suspending Project Veritas in February:
The February segment featured Cabrera accusing Project Veritas of “promoting misinformation” and calling the group a “conservative action-ist, activist,” none of which O’Keefe says is true. Twitter reportedly banned Project Veritas over an anti-doxxing policy after the group confronted a Facebook executive outside of his home. In the same February segment, Stelter claimed Project Veritas violated “multiple rules.”
Meanwhile, O’Keefe posted video of CNN allegedly confronting a woman outside of her home and accusing her of “being a Russian troll,” as O’Keefe puts it, to show that CNN may have allegedly violated the same Twitter policy. The video includes a phone conversation between a legal representative of Project Veritas and CNN technology reporter Brian Fung, who accurately reported why the group was banned by Twitter, with O’Keefe intoning that either Fung is correct, or Cabrera is, though they are on the same network.
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