James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, acknowledged on Monday that he no longer serves as the organization’s CEO “stripped” after weeks of internal conflict, he had been “removed” from the board of directors.
“I don’t know why this has happened now or why this is happening suddenly right now,” O’Keefe told staff on Monday in a video shared publicly by Project Veritas.
O’Keefe, who founded Project Veritas in 2010, acknowledged to staff that he had not “always been a compassionate leader,” which he admits is a “fault” of his, but boasted his work ethic and how he was never “slowing down.”
“So, what has changed in the last three weeks?” O’Keefe asked. “The only thing that has changed is that we broke the biggest story in our organization’s history… with 50 million views.”
O’Keefe was alluding to the shocking report from January that quoted a man identified as Pfizer director of research and development, Jordon Trishton Walker, as saying that the corporation was considering measures to “mutate” the COVID virus themselves through “directed evolution.”
“And suddenly, just a few days after that… an unusual emergency happened,” O’Keefe said. “On Thursday, February 2nd, that’s a few days after the Pfizer story, I was informed by an officer of Project Veritas on the phone while en route to the airport that he would resign unless I stepped down as CEO. We’ve been having a conflict of visions, him and I, over fundraising… They were tactical disagreements about the boldness of approaches soliciting donations.”
“We don’t measure our success only in terms of how much money we bring in,” O’Keefe continued before saying he was able to push back the emergency meeting to the following Monday. “We measure our success in terms of our impact… We measure our success in terms of what we produce, not just in terms of our wallets. That was a pretty fundamental conflict, I felt. The day prior, I informed him in front of his colleagues that he if he wasn’t willing to follow my lead, he’d be shown the door.”
Check out some other new content we’ve published:
- Temple University Police Officer Fatally Shot Responding To A Crime Near Campus
- Amira 90-Day Fiance: What Happened To 90-Day Fiancé Star Amira After The Tell-All?
“I tried to deal with it privately but was unsuccessful, and the disagreement boiled over publicly in a staff meeting,” he said. “The next day, this individual refused to resign, so I fired him. Later that same day… I was informed by a different Officer of Project Veritas that he would go to the board in a few hours from that moment and have an emergency vote to restructure this company, receiving an agenda in my email while I was sitting on an airplane tarmac with the doors closing. The meeting was scheduled for the moment that my plane landed in Nashville.”
According to O’Keefe, at least one Project Veritas board member tried to hide his dismissal from the organization’s supporters by telling his staff that he was resigning “in a state of complete shock” by that idea and contrasted it to a subject his group would often expose. However, he claimed that his impending dismissal was “impossible.”
He later listed the apparent “grievances” he was confronted with, including his “tone of voice” to staff and his use of “black cars” Before disclosing that the board of directors had decided to suspend his role as Project Veritas CEO for at least six months, he would take a two-week paid absence. During a subsequent board meeting, they decided to stop paying him.
He then called out Project Veritas over a statement it put out last week insisting he had “not been removed” from the organization despite the board of directors having voted for his ousting days prior, as well as a separate tweet claiming he was on a “well-deserved vacation.” O’Keefe also swiped an unnamed board member who accused him of using over $12,000 in funds for his wedding, pointing out he’s not married. That banquet expense was actually for a Christmas party for staff, and asking, “why would the officer lie like that?”
“Ruining our reputation in front of supporters and donors and leaking confidential information and fabricating stories- one of our ethical rules is we don’t lie to our audience. I’ve never lied to our audience in 13 years. Still, I was stripped of all decision-making last week, and you guys put out a statement lying to your audience, and there’s nothing I could do about it because I was stripped of all my decision-making. I was removed from CEO,” O’Keefe said.
“So I’m announcing to you all that today, on Presidents Day, I’m packing up my personal belongings… and I’m intending to start a new,” O’Keefe told Project Veritas staff. Project Veritas released a statement Monday saying O’Keefe ignored the outreach by the group’s leadership “and decided to instead leak private information to others, either by doing so himself or by proxy.”
“There were two subjects that the Board wished to come to terms with James on: the company’s long-term sustainability based on staff retention and morale, and the company’s financial health — which has been a serious concern for several months now,” Project Veritas wrote. “Although PV Leadership has not concluded looking into the full scale of financial issues over the years, a preliminary review at this time indicates that James has spent an excessive amount of donor funds in the last three years on personal luxuries. More are still being uncovered during the ongoing review at this time.”
The group clarified that O’Keefe’s indefinite suspension was “pending the resolution of a fulsome investigation and clarity which will need to be provided by a third party investigative audit report.” It continued to accuse O’Keefe of spending money on things like a $14,000 charter trip, thousands on DJs and equipment for personal use, over $150,000 on black car usage, and $60,000 in losses from events hosted by Project Veritas, among other things.
“Even with all of this public fallout, the Board still wants to speak with James. We did not fire him, nor did we want him to resign. We would like to continue conversations with James to resolve internal matters rather than litigate them publicly,” Project Veritas wrote.
BREAKING: James O’Keefe RESIGNS from Project Veritas.. reads resignation letter to his former team and board members at New York Headquarters.
James will make his own way as he’s always done before! #IStandWithJamesOKeefe
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) February 20, 2023
There have been rumours of internal Project Veritas conflict involving O’Keefe and purported employee complaints in recent weeks. Over the years, O’Keefe’s Project Veritas garnered media attention using undercover reporters and government whistleblowers. The reporting of the group has affected a number of companies, including Pfizer, The New York Times, CNN, ABC News, Facebook, and Twitter.
In addition to the recent Pfizer scandal, some of the biggest scandals exposed by Project Veritas included the leaked hot mic exchange in which former ABC News anchor Amy Robach revealed that the network “quashed” her Jeffrey Epstein story during the 2016 election cycle and the leaked editorial calls of CNN, which showed top executives choosing to steer clear of the Hunter Biden scandal during the 2020 election.
O’Keefe has established himself as a conservative hero, drawing sizable crowds to gatherings like CPAC and Turning Point USA. In connection with the alleged theft of Ashley Biden’s diary, O’Keefe, and other Project Veritas journalists were the targets of unprecedented FBI raids in 2021. O’Keefe had already obtained a copy of the diary in 2020, but his organization decided not to publish it because it could not be independently verified. O’Keefe insisted that neither he nor his colleagues had committed any illegality.