Judge Tammy Robbins on Monday appointed a special master in the case of two conservative media-monitoring groups, Project Veritas and Here America.
The group’s founder, James O’Keefe, along with journalists David Daleiden and Robert Weissman were arrested on Thursday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where they had gathered in response to a subpoena to turn over their recordings.
Also this week, The Guardian reported that Project Veritas operatives dressed up in Homeland Security uniforms and pretended to enter the offices of Associated Press, trying to distract a Washington-based reporter while O’Keefe secretly recorded.
In his ruling, Judge Robbins wrote, “While Plaintiffs [here, the Committee to Protect Journalists] certainly have a privacy interest in confidential source information, the injury they allege was not caused by a third party — such as an actual threat of violence from an agent of the government — as alleged in the complaints. Instead, Defendant’s activities were aimed at disrupting plaintiff’s work in an attempt to stop its reporting on issues of public concern.”
The special master appointment allows the case to continue in light of both motions against the Special Prosecutor, and needs to be completed by April 23, 2021.
There are about three weeks left in the federal 2018 federal election cycle, and trial is scheduled to begin May 3, 2018.