In a letter sent Thursday, New York AG Eric Schneiderman demanded clarifications to the conservative provocateur group Project Veritas’ nonprofit filings with the state. The move comes just days after the group saw a sting operation against The Washington Post unravel amid greater public scrutiny over the group’s practices.
The letter, sent from the AG’s charities bureau to the organization’s outspoken president James O’Keefe, demands clarification on alleged deficiencies in the group’s nonprofit filings with the state.
For example, despite claiming on its uniform registration statement that none of its officers had been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, O’Keefe pleaded guilty in 2010 to misdemeanor charges in Louisiana for entering U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s office under false pretenses.
In the letter, the AG’s Office demands to know why the failure to disclose the information isn’t a violation of New York law prohibiting the making of untrue statements in an application for registration.
The letter goes on to demand information on why the group was barred from soliciting funds in Mississippi and Utah, why it failed to account for the company doing fundraising for it in its filing and why it failed to register under the state’s estates, powers and trusts law.
Absent a response within 15 days, the state threatened further legal action, including the cancellation of its registration to solicit funds in New York.
The Washington Post first reported on the letter’s existence.
In a statement, Project Veritas spokesman Stephen Gordon called Schneiderman’s letter “politically motivated,” and what appeared to be “an intentional, well-orchestrated and malicious attempt to shut us down.”
“But we will not be stopped,” Gordon said. “We attempt to comply not only with the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law in every state. We are currently investigating the claims from the New York AG’s Office.”
The group gained notoriety for creating videos aimed at uncovering what the group alleges are biases and hypocrisies among liberal elected officials and organizations. Earlier this week, an alleged employee for Project Veritas approached The Washington Post claiming to have been raped by Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. When inconsistencies in the woman’s story were uncovered, the paper turned the episode into a take down of the group’s practices.