It seems that the right-wing, ultra-conservative media company has struck again. The video hit company, Project Veritas, made its mark by taking raw footage and manipulating it in such a way that the result is blatantly false.
During Donald Trump’s inauguration, the police arrested a number of people on felony charges. Ten of them were very lucky.
A number of people in a protest group were caught up in a mass arrest after they smashed windows prior to the president’s inauguration in January 2017. Prosecutors dropped charges against 120 of them, but planned to charge a “core group” consisting of 59 people.
A jury acquitted a group of six defendants who claimed they had not participated in the destruction of property. Ten defendants were set to go to trial when the judge discovered a problem.
Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, who work for the Department of Justice (DOJ), found themselves in a lot of trouble. It seems, they had submitted into evidence video from Project Veritas.
The company has had a long history of bias and propaganda. It takes raw footage and edits it in such a way to make up look like down and black look like white.
When D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin discovered that the prosecutors knew that they had edited tapes in evidence versus the raw footage, he hit the ceiling.
The prosecutors had committed Brady violations, which meant that James O’Keefe’s undercover videos violated the defendants’ due process rights. The bottom line was that the prosecutors misled the court.
The DOJ asked to have the charges dismissed without prejudice. That way they could come back and bring charges against this group of defendants.
Morin ruled that all the charges should be dismissed with prejudice. That meant that the DOJ could not bring charges again, according to Huffington Post:
‘I do think it’s a serious violation. (It was) not explainable to the court. Your office represented that was the only video turned over.’
As it turned out, Project Veritas had dozens of videos it had given to the government, the defense attorneys told the court.
Senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. (ACLU), Scott Michelman said:
‘This undeniable prosecutorial misconduct is a serious governmental abuse of power. From the initial overcharging decisions to these latest revelations about the government’s misleading editing of the Project Veritas video, the U.S. Attorney’s office has repeatedly abused its power in a quest to lock people up for exercising their First Amendment rights on Inauguration Day.’
Four defendants are currently on trial, a second group was in the middle of closing arguments, and dozens more were awaiting trial. At this point, it is not clear whether the Project Veritas videos will affect the outcome for those people.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mark Makela.