The Project Veritas Board of Directors has released a statement after ousting founder James O’Keefe and losing over 100,000 followers on Twitter.
Project Veritas’ follower count dropped by over 130,000 people in the hours following the news that O’Keefe had been removed from the company.
Early reports had indicated that O’Keefe resigned, but in a speech before the staff, he explained that he had been removed by the board.
“Today, James O’Keefe decided to remove his belongings from Project Veritas headquarters,” the board said in the statement. “The Board and Management made numerous attempts in the last 14 days to have a conversation with James, but he ignored our outreach and decided to instead leak private information to others, either by doing so himself or by proxy.”
The board claimed that “although PV Leadership has not concluded looking into the full scale of financial issues over the years, a preliminary review at this time indicates that James has spent an excessive amount of donor funds in the last three years on personal luxuries. More is still being uncovered during the ongoing review at this time. Contrary to many reports from today, James was suspended indefinitely pending the resolution of a fulsome investigation and clarity which will need to be provided by a third party investigative audit report.”
The board listed several financial concerns, including the cost of using black cars.
“James also left us no choice but to suspend him in the last few weeks when he unilaterally fired the CFO, who can only be fired with Board approval,” the statement continued. “That is a violation of our non-profit’s bylaws. James went as far as to say that a Board member had approved this firing to others, but it was later discovered that it was not the case. That member did not approve the firing. The Board approved James’ suspension so it would have time to properly investigate these internal infractions.”
“James claims that the Board did not allow him to send an apology letter to the staff, which is not true. The Board never told James he was not to speak with staff members, nor that he could not apologize to them,” the statement continued. “But, more than anything, the Board cares about the donors of this organization, who decide to donate their hard-earned money to us because they believe in the mission. We could not allow for our donors to send us money and have it be misappropriated in such a way. We love our supporters, and we would never sit idly by as money is being used for matters that are not mission related.”
The board asserted that “even with all of this public fallout, the Board still wants to speak with James. We did not fire him, nor do we want him to resign. We would like to continue conversations with James to resolve internal matters rather than litigate them publicly.”
“Project Veritas will continue to be transparent with the public as more information can be released over time. The fight for truth will never stop.”
O’Keefe told a very different story in his speech about what happened.
BREAKING VIDEO: James O’Keefe addresses Project Veritas staff as he exits from the organization he founded following a high-profile board dispute. “Our mission continues on. I’m not done. The mission will perhaps take on a new name…” pic.twitter.com/0fZov5AXa3
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 20, 2023
O’Keefe said that on February 10th, he was indefinitely suspended from the board of directors during a meeting. By this time, they had also stripped him of authority as CEO.
“So what changed in the last three weeks?” O’Keefe asked in the video.
“THE ONLY THING THAT HAS CHANGED is that we broke the biggest story in our organization’s history during the last week of January in 2023,” he said. “With 50+ million views, our video became a global phenomenon – it was about Pfizer and one of their directors discussing mutating the COVID virus. Our confrontation video, where he locked me in a pizza restaurant in Brooklyn, called the cops, and smashed our equipment, also became a phenomenon and was riveting television for audiences glued to their screens, where 10s of millions more shared that video. Outlets in India and China covered the story, and our social media exploded like never before. Our employees and board members Twitter accounts also exploded with new followers after the story. Pfizer even put out a non-denial denial, where they basically admitted they were mutating the virus, albeit Pfizer buried this admission in the legalese jargon of an official corporate statement. Still, it was extraordinary Pfizer responded to our story with an admission!”
“THAT – is the only thing that has changed. Then suddenly, an unusual emergency happened just a few days after the story,” he continued.
O’Keefe said that it is impossible to remain CEO with no authority or role on the board.
“I can’t be a CEO with no authority and without a position on the board, I wasn’t sure if I even had a role left at Project Veritas. I’m not sure what my job here is,” O’Keefe said. “Five days later, on February 15th, a statement was put out saying ‘James has not been removed from Project Veritas… James is the hardest working person I’ve ever met.’ Those who know him well know he will not take time off unless forced to.”
“I was asked to be gone until the 20th — it is now the 20th. I asked the board to resign for their conduct, but they did not,” O’Keefe said. “So currently, I have no position at PV based on the board’s actions.”
“So, I’m announcing to you all that today on President’s day — I’m packing up my personal effects from headquarters, and I’m intending to start anew,” he said. “I don’t have answers to why they’ve been doing what they’ve been doing, or why board members were going directly to employees to collect a list of grievances on the week of our biggest story ever. Or why our board members were going to employees directly to discuss removing me from Project Veritas – on the same week of our biggest story of all time.”
He continued, “I’m confident those reasons and motivations will come to light. To borrow an old expression, the public has a right to know the motivation for seeking out these grievances about me, and why there was a concerted effort to remove myself from Project Veritas in the same week of the biggest story we had ever broke.”