Project Veritas WINS Federal Court Ruling Against Defamation Allegations — Including $350,000 in Legal Fees
A federal judge in Florida has ruled in favor of James O’Keefe and Project Veritas in a defamation suit that was brought by one of the subjects of a prior undercover Veritas video.
Steve Wentz, president of the Wichita Teachers Union, filed the lawsuit in federal district court in June of 2017, after Project Veritas launched a video where Wentz admits to abusing children.
Nearly two years later, Judge G. Kendall Sharp has ruled in favor of Project Veritas, and stated that “The edits do not improperly and illegally alter the meaning of Wentz’s words or associate him with an unrelated topic or conduct.”
HUGE FEDERAL LEGAL victory for Project Veritas in court – winning defamation case brought against us by a union…
Furthermore, the judge has awarded $350,000 to O’Keefe for recovery of attorney fees.
MORE: Federal court judge awarded Project Veritas fees — ATTENTION! If you think you can intimidate us with frivolous legal action, don't think it won't cost you; we WON'T SETTLE.
In an exclusive interview with The Gateway Pundit, one of the undercover investigators who was involved in the operation says “I don’t think I violated anything. I went to Kansas, and I was going to confront this person about something he had said to one of our agents, that he had taken a kid and slammed him up against a wall.”
“James flew me out to find the guy, find his office, find out if he would admit if that’s what went down. So I flew out to Wichita. It says on the punch-in board that he’s there, but he wasn’t. Someone at the office calls him, because I said I’d like to speak with him about it. Meanwhile he’s supposed to be at his office, and he’s not there, on company time. I think that’s something important that people would otherwise miss. He agreed to meet me at a coffee shop. So he showed up, and I said ‘hi’, we sat down, he sits across the table. And I ask “do you remember saying to a kid ‘i will kick your fucking ass?'” and he’s like ‘who are you?’ and I said ‘I’m here just asking questions about this one student, we have some concerns about.’ He was ready to come across the table at me. He didn’t have much more to say after that. He tried to follow me out to the parking lot, but I had parked on a different street. And boom, we got him on video. He tried to pass it off that he was talking about his own children.”
When asked to respond to the federal court ruling, the undercover investigator tells us “Wonderful! I’m elated! I don’t know what he was suing about it. Did you do it or did you not do it? People like Mike Wallace and 60 minutes have been doing this (undercover video) for decades. This is a dangerous person who obviously has violent tendencies. The fact that he tried to sue James for showing the truth is just sour grapes. I’m happy that he has to pay James’s lawyer fees. This will stop others in the future from doing this.”
The Federal Courts have once again vindicated Project Veritas and our methods. Today, a Federal Judge in Florida ruled totally in our favor in a case brought by a man named Steve Wentz.
In June of 2016, Project Veritas released a video where Steve Wentz, President of the Wichita Teachers Union made outrageous comments about how he treats students who give him trouble.
Here is one of Wentz’ statements in the video:
Wentz: You want to kick my ass? You really think I’m a motherf**ker? Son, go for it. I’ll give you the first shot. But be sure to finish what you start because if you don’t, I guarantee you, I will kick your f**king ass.
In June of 2017, Wentz filed a 66-page lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Florida. He said we recorded him illegally and that we defamed him. He told the Wichita Eagle at the time, quote, “It’s a lie and it is something that needs to be addressed,” unquote. Well, today the Judge in Florida addressed it, throwing Wentz’s case in the garbage.
“Wentz is unable to sufficiently identify a false statement published by defendants that plausibly supports his defamation claims.”
“…the edits do not improperly and illegally alter the meaning of Wentz’s words…”
“Notably, many of the alleged defamatory statements made by Project Veritas and O’Keefe, both in the Wentz Video and the written content, are recitations of Wentz’s own admitted actions and statements.”
“…Defendants did not commit defamatory acts against Wentz and did not illegally record conversations…
As hard as it was to spend the roughly $350,000 defending ourselves in this case, it was worth every penny. We could have settled this case out of court. But that is not what we do. We fight, we fight for the 1st Amendment and the truth. Principles matter. I can assure you right now; we will never surrender our principles. And we will never settle.
And here’s the original video where Wentz admits the abuse and is caught trying to lie his way out of it: