James O’Keefe’s SAVAGE Response to Connecticut Attorney General’s Threat to Subpoena Veritas
James O’Keefe reads a letter he received from Gregory O’Connell, the Deputy Associate Attorney General of Connecticut after the publication of Project Veritas’ recent candid camera videos of Connecticut teachers admitting to their disgusting brainwashing of Connecticut children.
JAMES O’KEEFE: The Attorney General of Connecticut has sent Project Veritas a preservation letter and has talked to us about subpoenaing our records after our investigation of the principal in Greenwich Connecticut, so I’m going to read for you this letter and then read our response:
“Dear Mr O’Keefe, The Connecticut Office of the Attorney General has opened to civil rights investigation and the possibility of discriminatory Employment Practices in the Greenwich Public Schools.
“This letter is your notice to preserve all material potentially relevant to the investigation. You must take immediate action to prevent the deletion or spoliation of any such material.”
There’s a little footnote there: “Material includes documents, recordings, video recordings and Communications of any kind or restored electronically-stored information of any kind, including computers, handle devices and smartphones.”
This is your attorney general asking me to preserve these things. It also includes: “Digital messages, emails, text messages, instant messages, social media posts, calendars, cell phone logs, voicemail messages and other digital or online Communications.”
This is the Attorney General of Connecticut requesting a journalist to preserve their materials. Next paragraph: “We anticipate issuing subpoenas.”
So, your attorney general is threatening to subpoena us for relevant material, “If our investigation substantiates a pattern of practice of illegal conduct.”
I wonder if they’re investigating the principal or Project Veritas? And it goes on: “If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to to contact me. Sincerely, Gregory K O’Connell Deputy Associate Attorney General, Connecticut.”
So, we filed a letter in response, which I shall now read to you and that letter reads as follows. This is written by our lawyers. I’m going to read it in the first person:
“Dear Mr O’Connell, We represent James O’Keefe’s news media company, Project Veritas in connection to you letter. For reasons discussed below, your letter should be retracted, immediately.
“Project Veritas is a national news company whose journalists are engaged in widely-reported undercover investigative reporting and utilize lawful recordings to expose corruption.
“Veritas continues the American undercover journals and tradition practiced by Nelly Bly in the late 1800s to Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes.” Remember him?
“For the purpose of this letter, I will presume that you have read the First Amendment.
“At the federal level, for a prosecutor or attorney general to attempt to speak or serve process on a journalist to obtain any materials, permission must first be granted by the Attorney General of the United States.
“I also presume you have read your own state’s laws, aptly named ‘Protection from Compelled Disclosure of Information Obtained by News Media’ law found in Section 52 of the statutes, also known as the Connecticut Shield Law.
“Specifically, there are sections that provide that: ‘No executive or legislative body has the power to issue a subpoena or other compulsory process.’
“That means you may not compel the news media. That means Project Veritas.” Next page. “Unfortunately, Attorney General Tong is not the first government official to foolishly attack the press for doing its job.
“In April of this year, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva attempted to trample on the protection afforded to journalists. In this case, like Attorney General Tong, the Sheriff popped off at a news conference and whined about a journalist doing her job.
“In short, Greg, in America, the government shouldn’t attack journalists or attempt to chill or silence them. Journalism should be left to journalists. We think there is something really wrong with ‘vigilante law enforcement’.”
Your attorney general called me a quote ‘vigilante journalist’. We’re not sure what he means by that. A ‘vigilante journalist’ is a journalist.
“We think there is something really wrong with ‘vigilante law enforcement’ and we don’t think it should be celebrated, when state prosecutors hide behind tin badges and preen before the cameras, peddling partisan, petty politically-motivated sound bites.
“There are no rules when prosecutors engage in Wild West tactics by abdicating their oaths to enforce the law and instead, violate it by ignoring protections of order the journalists.
“Kindly inform your boss that Mr O’Keefe,” that’s me, “respectfully suggests the Attorney General’s stay in his Lane and do what the citizens and voters of Connecticut expect of him.
“First and force the law by conducting a bona fide good faith investigation of discriminatory Employment Practices in Connecticut schools, even if the goals of those illegal practices may be consistent with the attorney general’s personal political beliefs.”
There’s a footnote, which I’m going to read:
“The Attorney General’s statement that an undercover investigative journalist ‘entrapped’ someone is silly. Unfortunately, it also of grave concern, because as Connecticut’s top law enforcement officer, he said the quiet part out loud and it affirms he has already drawn a legal conclusion before his ‘civil rights’ ‘investigation’ even begins.
“How can the citizens and voters of Connecticut expect a good faith investigation from him and his office, as a result?
“For that reason, I have sent a copy of this letter to the Governor of Connecticut, in the event he determines that this is improper and the impartiality of the investigation is compromised.
“The governor should remove the Attorney General from the case and his office from the case.
“Project Veritas and its journalists are engaged in lawful, protected journalism. Your letter, Mr Attorney General is in violation of Connecticut’s Shield Law. Your thinly-veiled threat to our journalist client, that ‘The scope and nature of our investigation to may evolve as it progresses,’ is shameful and reckless. We demand that you retract your letter forthwith and begin adhering to the laws that you took an oath to uphold.”