Conservative activist (and convicted criminal) James O’Keefe and his tax-exempt Project Veritas group are under fire again, following a botched “sting” operation in which an employee falsely told the Washington Post that she was raped by Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) as a teenager. The Post did not fall for her trick and instead exposed her for the blatant attempt to discredit the many women who have come forward with their stories of sexual assault.
Last October, ThinkProgress reported that Project Veritas had received a $10,000 donation in 2015 from Donald Trump’s controversial Donald J. Trump Foundation, a theoretically charitable 501(c)(3) organization. This reporting was based on a list of charitable payments provided by the foundation to the Washington Post.
But a ThinkProgress review of the Trump Foundation’s 2015 tax filing finds that it reported making not one but two $10,000 donations to Project Veritas in tax-year 2015.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump claimed in a presidential debate that new videos proved that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had “hired people” and “paid them $1,500” to “be violent, cause fights, [and] do bad things” at Trump rallies — a claim based on videos released by O’Keefe that purported to show pro-Clinton activists boasting of their efforts to bait Trump supporters into violent acts. The videos offered absolutely no evidence that Clinton or Obama were aware of or behind the alleged dirty tricks.
Now, O’Keefe’s group is targeting the Washington Post, a publication that Trump has repeatedly denounced for its critical coverage of his administration.
And at the same time, Project Veritas is attempting to undermine the credibility of Roy Moore’s real accusers. While most of the Republican Party establishment has distanced itself from Moore in light of nine women coming forward with highly credible allegations that the former Alabama supreme court chief justice sexually assaulted them — one when she was just 14 years old — Trump has continued to back him in the rapidly-approaching special election.