Project Veritas Founder Is Under Investigation, and the Organization Is In Shambles

Paul Hennessy/SOPA/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Right-wing trickster James O’Keefe, who has spent more than a decade creating deceptive videos aimed at embarrassing liberals, is under investigation in New York following accusations that he misspent funds of the organization he founded, Project Veritas.
While the details of the investigation—first reported by The Nation—are not yet public, they could relate to O’Keefe’s alleged use of donor funds for personal luxuries, including charter flights and limo services. In February, O’Keefe stepped down from his role as chairman and CEO of Project Veritas amid concerns from the board about his spending and complaints from staff about his leadership style. (It has been a huge mess.)
O’Keefe left the organization in shambles. Last month, former board member Matthew Tyrmand resigned and threatened to air dirt on O’Keefe, publicly calling him a “lying sack of shit” and a “fkn scumbag.” Such talk doesn’t tend to reflect well on an organization.
O’Keefe has attempted to pin the blame for the company’s irregular expenditures on chief financial officer Tom O’Hara; O’Hara, according to The Nation’s report, is the one feeding the Westchester County DA with information on O’Keefe’s misdeeds. One gets the sense, based on The Nation article, that these two men are litigating a personal feud. 
To top it all off, the organization’s new CEO, Hannah Giles, reportedly fired the entire staff last week, leaving “only a skeleton crew of HR and a few fundraisers,” according to Charlie Kirk. But don’t expect the cultural impact of Project Veritas to disappear overnight. O’Keefe helped spread the notion that voter fraud was commonplace and easy to commit. People in several states are facing felony charges for their attempts to prove just that.