Project Veritas has hired a former Trump administration official as a lobbyist following FBI raids at multiple locations tied to the conservative group.
Mark Paoletta, who served as an aide to former Vice President Mike Pence, was hired to inform members of Congress about the FBI's raid on Project Veritas, according to Axios.
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Paoletta began working for Project Veritas on Nov. 11, according to disclosure documents. He appears to be the first federal lobbyist the group has hired.
The hiring came around the time the FBI raided multiple locations tied to Project Veritas, including the home of founder James O'Keefe, for what is reported to be a federal investigation into the alleged theft of the diary belonging to Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden's daughter.
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." His lawyer, Paul Calli, stressed that Project Veritas did not publish the diary because it could not verify its authenticity and gave it to law enforcement.
Alleged pages of now-40-year-old Ashley Biden's diary were published by a right-wing website, National File, which claimed it obtained a digital copy from a Project Veritas "whistleblower."
The New York Times published an article on Nov. 11 discussing memos detailing legal communication between Project Veritas and its lawyer, the timing of which raised questions about how the news outlet received the information.
Project Veritas has been engaged in defamation litigation against the New York Times in the Westchester County Supreme Court since last year. In late November, a New York judge issued an extended ban on the outlet publishing materials related to Project Veritas due to the litigation.
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After the raid at O'Keefe's home, Brian Hauss, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, released a statement slamming Project Veritas for engaging in "disgraceful deceptions" but also warned the "precedent set in this case could have serious consequences for press freedom."
The Washington Examiner reached out to both Project Veritas and Paoletta for comment.