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‘I feel the same as Steve Jobs’: James O’Keefe resigns from Project Veritas after board suspends him

The future for both O'Keefe and the organization is uncertain.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Posted on Feb 20, 2023

James O’Keefe resigned from Project Veritas, the conservative undercover journalism collective he founded. His resignation was announced on Monday.

Project Veritas suspended O’Keefe earlier this month. This followed reports that employees had accused him of being erratic, vindictive, and tyrannical.

A lengthy statement of O’Keefe announcing his resignation to Project Veritas’ staff was posted to Vimeo. In his statement, he both defended and castigated himself. He also suggested there was a plot against him and provided his side of recent events that led to his suspension and resignation.

Project Veritas has not commented on O’Keefe’s resignation.

The nonprofit is fighting battles on multiple fronts. It is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its role in obtaining Ashley Biden’s diary. It’s also being sued by an ex-employee who claims that O’Keefe ran a tumultuous and unprofessional workplace, alleging there was at least one drug overdose and an incident involving attendees of a party he hosted defecating on the floor.

Project Veritas denies wrongdoing regarding Biden’s diary and is defending itself against the employee’s lawsuit.

“I have no job at Project Veritas, I have no position here based upon what the board has done—so I’m announcing to you all that today, on President’s Day, I’m packing up my personal belongings here,” O’Keefe said in his statement.

https://vimeo.com/800604525/fe482c1859

He acknowledged being an unsentimental and hard-driving employer who possibly should’ve taken more time off, while also lionizing himself and Project Veritas.

O’Keefe promised to release information about efforts to oust him.

“Over the last few weeks I have felt a lot of despair and seen a lot of evil … You could say I’ve had some glimpses of heaven and hell, and darkness and light,” O’Keefe said.

He posted purported screenshots of the minutes from an hours-long board meeting earlier this month that ended with him being temporarily suspended. According to those screenshots, the board complained about his spending and offered “mental wellness care” pending an audit.

He referenced purported complaints about how much money he spent, including chartering planes, using expensive private car rental services, and spending nearly $13,000 on a holiday party for staff.

O’Keefe also urged staff to ask board members for a recording of that board meeting.

He claimed that an officer told the board that O’Keefe should’ve taken measures to reduce expenses, such as by having meetings over Zoom instead of flying to meet in person.

“My lawyers got a real laugh out of that one over the last couple weeks,” O’Keefe added.

This comment may indicate that O’Keefe is contemplating suing. But at present, he’s simply walking away from the group he has been the face of for over a decade.

“I feel the same sensation right now as Steve Jobs once wrote about being fired from Apple, the company he founded,” O’Keefe said, “‘The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. Less sure about everything, it freed me to experience one of the most creative periods in my life.'”

His closing comments gave the impression that he may start something new.

“So, our mission continues on. I’m not done. The mission will perhaps take on a new name, and it may no longer be called Veritas, Project Veritas. I’ll need a bunch of people around me and I’ll make sure you know how to find me.”

He then quoted portions of a speech by Henry V in William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

“And this story shall the good man teach his son. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters.”

“So with that, I’m going to collect my things, I’m going to load them into my car, and I hope to see some of you soon.”

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2023, 1:41 pm CST