The investigation into the theft of Ashley Biden’s diary took a dramatic turn on Nov. 4, 2021, when federal agents in New York searched locations belonging to people who worked with conservative group Project Veritas, including the founder of the organization himself. An FBI spokesperson told The New York Times that agents had “performed law enforcement activity related to an ongoing investigation” at two locations—one in New York, N.Y., and another in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Two days after those searches, agents searched the home of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, The New York Times reported. “It appears the Southern District of New York now has journalists in their sights for the supposed crime of doing their jobs lawfully and honestly,” O’Keefe said in a video statement on Nov. 5, reported the newspaper. “Our efforts were the stuff of responsible, ethical journalism and we are in no doubt that Project Veritas acted properly at each and every step.”
The diary was one of the items stolen in a burglary last year
In Oct. 2020, a Biden family representative reported that several items belonging to Ashley, president Joe Biden’s daughter and youngest child, had been stolen in a burglary. The Justice Department opened an investigation shortly thereafter, according to The New York Times. In a statement on Nov. 5, O’Keefe said Project Veritas had been offered the diary, had chosen not to publish it, and had turned it over to law enforcement instead, according to NBC News.
“Late last year, we were approached by tipsters claiming they had a copy of Ashley Biden’s diary,” and “the tipsters indicated that they were negotiating with a different media outlet for the payment of monies for the diary,” O'Keefe said in the statement.
“At the end of the day, we made the ethical decision that because, in part, we could not determine if the diary was real, if the diary in fact belonged to Ashley Biden, or if the contents of the diary occurred, we could not publish the diary and any part thereof.”
Handwritten pages from the diary leaked online before Election Day
As The New York Times reports, dozens of handwritten pages from the diary were uploaded to a right-wing website shortly before Election Day, with the website claiming to have obtained the diary from a whistleblower employee of a media outlet that refused to publish a story about it. At the time, the newspaper adds, Donald Trump was questioning Joe Biden’s credibility by trying to connect Biden’s son Hunter to corrupt business dealings.
The website that published the diary pages is registered to the same address in Wyoming as a consulting company run by an ex-British spy that did work for Project Veritas.
Project Veritas has a history of getting embarrassing information on its targets through surreptitious means, USA Today reports. It bills itself as an investigative media outlet, but a federal judge ruled last year that its opponents in a civil case could refer to the organization as a “political spying operation,” the newspaper adds.