A federal court ordered the Justice Department to stop extracting data from phones belonging to Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe after the FBI searched his New York apartment and the homes of two operatives over the past week.
Harmeet Dhillon, a civil rights attorney representing the conservative investigative group, shared the order signed by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres on Thursday.
The order said the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York reviewed the petitioner's motion for an appointment of a special master on Wednesday and ordered the government to "confirm via email it has paused its extraction and review of the contents of Petitioner O'Keefe's phones" by Friday.
FBI RAIDS LOCATIONS TIED TO ALLEGED THEFT OF ASHLEY BIDEN’S DIARY
The order also said by Nov. 16 the government "shall provide the Court with its response to Petitioner's motion," and by Nov. 19, "Petitioners shall provide the Court with their reply, if any."
BREAKING! The federal court has just ordered the DOJ to STOP extracting data from our client, journalist James O’Keefe’s phone, and ordered a hearing. Counsel for Project Veritas asked the court to do this yesterday! pic.twitter.com/nBrmf4myuj— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) November 11, 2021
The FBI has conducted searches of at least two New York locations tied to Project Veritas, reportedly in connection with the alleged theft of a diary belonging to Ashley Biden, the youngest daughter of President Joe Biden.
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An FBI spokesperson would say only the bureau “performed law enforcement activity related to an ongoing investigation” at two different locations, one in Manhattan and the other in Mamaroneck, Westchester County.
O'Keefe told Fox News the FBI took two of his iPhones, which had confidential donor and source information, and called the raids an "attack on the First Amendment" and his lawyer, Paul Calli, stressed Project Veritas did not publish the diary, excerpts of which were later published by a conservative website.