FBI raids against Project Veritas appear to be part of a "political witch hunt" meant to root out secret government sources and conservative donors, according to an attorney for the conservative group.

Harmeet Dhillon told Fox News host Tucker Carlson this week the Justice Department knew Project Veritas did not have a diary belonging to Ashley Biden, the youngest daughter of President Joe Biden, when FBI agents scoured multiple locations tied to the group last month. That effort was part of an investigation into its disappearance, which included a search of the home of founder James O'Keefe.

"This is an absolutely breathtaking situation where the United States Department of Justice — supposedly because of this diary, but I'll tell you why I don't think it's about the diary — has ignored the First Amendment, which protects the rights of the journalists and the press and of course also donors," she said.

It "is also ignoring a federal statute, the Privacy Act, that protects journalists and confidentiality. It is also ignoring DOJ guidelines passed as recently as this summer by the current attorney general, Merrick Garland, all of which are designed to protect journalists from exactly this type of raid. So how are they getting around that? They are claiming that Project Veritas in court filings are not, in fact, journalists, and that's one of their reasons," Dhillon added.


Dhillon stressed that her client, Project Veritas, did not publish the alleged diary. Instead, it was a right-wing website, National File, which claims it obtained a digital copy from a Project Veritas "whistleblower" before posting its contents online.

"The DOJ well knew our client did not have the dairy. What were they really after? I think they were really after Project Veritas's telephones with contacts of lawyers and legal communications. Contacts of many, many sources in the Biden administration which is riddled with corruption, as you pointed out. And contacts with conservative donors who they'd like to harass, we have the playbook from the Obama years. That's what this is about," she told Carlson.

O'Keefe has said the FBI took two of his iPhones that contained confidential donor and source information, and his group gave the diary to law enforcement.

Lawyers for Ashley Biden, 40, have not confirmed whether the diary is hers but have accused Project Veritas of threatening them as part of an “extortionate effort to secure an interview” with their client in the final days of the 2020 campaign, according to the New York Times. Federal prosecutors are examining whether there was a criminal conspiracy to steal and publish the diary.


A federal court in Manhattan recently ordered the appointment of a special master to review the seized materials. Project Veritas requested the third-party review. Federal prosecutors opposed the request.

Dhillon, the founder and CEO of the Center for American Liberty, argued Project Veritas — an investigative reporting project that has a mixed record on its sting operations over the years, including allegations of misleading editing — is being unfairly targeted. Even the ACLU warned about the precedent set by the raids.

"This is nothing more than a political witch hunt that is targeted at conservative donors, conservative journalists, people exposing corruption. The diary is simply the hook to get into this," Dhillon said.