Monday morning, in a tear-wiping farewell talk with his Veritas staff, O'Keefe showed up at the New York headquarters to collect his belongings. Before he left, however, he laid out a sinister case for his planned ouster from the organization he founded and led.
“The only thing that has changed is that we broke the biggest story in our organization's history: Pfizer,” O’Keefe alleged in a speech that was recorded and posted to Vimeo.
O’Keefe was referring to a Veritas sting, which hit the Internet in late January and went viral, in which a Pfizer executive brags to a dinner date about Big Pharma’s experiments on mutating virus strains.
O’Keefe told staffers the Pfizer video became the most-watched Veritas sting in its history, and now O'Keefe's defenders are alleging the publicity proved too much for Veritas to weather considering the power and influence Pfizer enjoys in Washington, D.C. So the knives came out, they say, for the main face of the organization hated and feared by the Left.
According to the Project Veritas board, however, its problem with O’Keefe is much less conspiratorial and much more common: The founder’s ego grew too large to contain. O’Keefe was harming employees with his bullying behavior, and burning through donors’ money with extravagant spending, until there was no choice but to confront him over both, the board alleges.
Watching this fight from her AFR weekday radio show, Jenna Ellis told her audience Tuesday the Veritas board has lost the “PR game” because it went silent for more than weeks after the public learned O’Keefe had been suspended from his job. So the allegations of wasteful spending, she said, are just now being aired against the founder who showed up Monday with his own alarming allegations.
“So these are two wildly, dramatically different stories and reasons from James O’Keefe, and from Project Veritas, and both have the possibility of being true,” she concluded. “But both cannot simultaneously be true.”
Ellis, who said she is friends with O’Keefe and with a member of the Veritas board, likened the situation to a fair-minded jury weighing all the evidence. In this situation, said the radio host, who is also an attorney, the board should produce evidence of O’Keefe’s spending.
“Sometimes the best response is to say I don’t know yet, let’s wait and see,” she told listeners.