May 23, 2019

USA: Project Veritas WINS Defamation Case – Undercover Journalism Vindicated. A Federal Judge Threw Out Defamation Lawsuit On May 22nd Filed By A Leftist Agitator Against Project Veritas. Yay ๐Ÿ‘

The Washington Times
written by Bailey Vogt
Wednesday May 22, 2019

A federal judge dismissed a woman’s libel lawsuit against conservative advocacy group Project Veritas and its founder James O’Keefe Wednesday regarding the depiction of her assault during a 2016 President Trump campaign rally.

“While the internet has broadened the number and the variety of available voices in the marketplace of ideas, it has also served to undermine the public’s confidence in the veracity of those sources,” United States District Judge Martin Reidinger, according to a transcript of Wednesday’s court session in Asheville, North Carolina.

“That fine line has to be walked. And I think that walking that fine line required this court to take a close look at what issues are really for this court and what issues are really for this jury,” he said.

He added: “if citizens and the media are handcuffed by a fear of liability, that’s detrimental to political discourse, it is detrimental to society as a whole, and it is detrimental, really, to our fundamental freedom.”

Judge Reidinger stopped the case and dismissed the jury before making his decision.

The woman, 71-year-old Shirley Teter filed a libel lawsuit after a Project Veritas video featured her being struck in the face during a protest of Mr. Trump. She claimed the video depicted her as part of a plot of Democratic operatives to cause violence.

The Judge ruled on the side of Project Veritas, who argued Teter’s lawyers did not present enough evidence of actual malice in their depiction of her and her speaking with the media about her assault made her a public figure.

Mr. O’Keefe praised the decision, saying: “Let this be a lesson to all those who abuse our legal system to settle petty political disputes. The courts have once again vindicated our undercover methods and journalism. Project Veritas is 6-0 in lawsuits for a reason – the law is on our side.”
Project Veritas
written by Staff
Wednesday May 22, 2019
  • Directed Verdict – Teter v Veritas Thrown Out By Federal Judge
  • No “clear and convincing evidence of actual malice”
  • Teter suit is based on “thinnest of thin reeds”
  • O’Keefe: “Veritas 6 – 0 on lawsuits!”
(Asheville) A federal judge has issued a Directed Verdict in “Teter v. Project Veritas,” ruling that the plaintiff did not have the requisite evidence to support a defamation claim. Plaintiffs must prove deliberate malice on behalf of the defendant in order to prove defamation. The Directed Verdict came on the third day of the trial. Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, who was in Asheville, North Carolina for the trial, released the following statement.
“Let this be a lesson to all those who abuse our legal system to settle petty political disputes. The courts have once again vindicated our undercover methods and journalism. Project Veritas is 6-0 in lawsuits for a reason – the law is on our side.”
United States District Judge Martin Reidinger excused the jury late in the day on May 21 and invited arguments on why O’Keefe and Project Veritas should not be granted a Directed Verdict. The attorneys for Teter struggled to convince the judge, who would not allow the First Amendment to be trampled upon.

On Wednesday, the judge articulated passionate reasoning in his ruling to protect the First Amendment rights of journalists:
“Therefore, if citizens and the media are handcuffed by a fear of liability, that’s detrimental to political discourse, it is detrimental to society as a whole, and it is detrimental, really, to our fundamental freedom.”
The judge also tactfully dismantled each plank of the plaintiff’s argument and called it the “thinnest of thin reeds.”
“Any one of these points [of the plaintiff’s argument], if they are evidence at all of actual malice, would constitute, really, the thinnest of thin reeds.”
You can read the full transcript of this morning’s proceedings below.

Project Veritas successfully defended itself and the first amendment in this case, which lasted nearly two years. “Teter v. Project Veritas” is a landmark ruling that set legal precedent for the first amendment.

No comments: