O’Keefe claims that CNN defamed him by suggesting that he was banned from Twitter for spreading disinformation, when Twitter had actually banned him for operating fake accounts.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has launched a defamation lawsuit against Twitter and said that he plans to file a similar complaint against CNN on Monday.
“There are people on Twitter who are impersonating me who still remain on Twitter,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “I will depose [Twitter founder Jack Dorsey] under oath […] and tomorrow, I will sue CNN.”
Project Veritas, which has been categorized as a far-right activist group, has broadly sought to discredit mainstream media outlets as well as progressive politicians. The organization has been accused of employing deceptive practices, subtly editing secretly-recorded vides and audio reels to damage its targets’ reputations.
While O’Keefe—and Fox News—maintain that the Project Veritas founder was banned from Twitter for “exposing CNN for manipulating political events,” Twitter says it removed O’Keefe for operating multiple fake accounts.
Forbes.com notes that Project Veritas released months’ worth of leaked audio from corporate CNN meetings, and purportedly recorded an “apparent CNN staffer” stating that the media outlet deliberately tried to undermine former President Donald Trump and his right-wing allies.
In his lawsuit against Twitter, O’Keefe claimed the company’s ban was laid on false grounds and damaged O’Keefe’s reputation.
“The false accusation that Mr. O’Keefe operated ‘fake accounts’ is particularly damaging for Mr. O’Keefe because Mr. O’Keefe is a journalist,” the complaint read. “As such, his reputation for transparency and accurate reporting is fundamental to his profession.”
Now, O’Keefe says he will CNN after one of its anchors, Ana Cabrera, suggested that O’Keefe was de-platformed for spreading disinformation.
“Not even Twitter alleges that I was banned, or Project Veritas was banned, for disinformation,” O’Keefe told Fox News. “Every day in this country, people are defamed and lied about constantly, and they don’t have a will, the money, the resources, to fight back. So Veritas is going to be the tip of that spear.”
O’Keefe told Fox News he expects the libel lawsuits against Twitter and CNN to be successful—and boasted that Project Veritas has yet to lose a suit in its corporate history.
“We don’t settle,” he said. “We fight all the way to a jury verdict, and we’ve never lost.”
“We want to depose Jack Dorsey under oath,” O’Keefe added. “We want to put these people through depositions to understand exactly what was going through their minds when they maliciously lied about me, saying I operate fake accounts.”