Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe followed through Monday on his promise to file a defamation lawsuit against Twitter following his permanent suspension from the platform.
“This is a defamation action arising from the publication of a false and defamatory statement by Twitter on April 15, 2021 concerning its decision that day to ban Plaintiff James O’Keefe, an investigative journalist followed by over 926,000 Twitter users as of the time he was banned,” the lawsuit reads. “Twitter’s false and defamatory claim was that it removed Mr. O’Keefe because he ‘operated fake accounts’ … Twitter’s published claim that Mr. O’Keefe ‘operat[ed] fake accounts’ is patently and demonstrably false.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in Westchester County, New York, outlines Project Veritas’ #ExposeCNN campaign that dominated Twitter last week. Project Veritas published videos of a CNN staffer making claims about the network’s overt bias and political motivations to an undercover journalist. The filing noted that the videos were “trending #2 on Twitter in the United States.”
The filing also stressed that Twitter made statements to journalists about O’Keefe’s suspension “more than half an hour before communicating this information to Mr. O’Keefe.”
TWITTER ACCUSED OF PROTECTING CNN AFTER TECH GIANT BANS JAMES O’KEEFE: ‘THEY’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM’
O’Keefe’s lawsuit accuses the tech giant of knowing its claim that the Project Veritas founder operated “fake accounts” was “false and/or recklessly disregard the truth.”
“Twitter controls and operates its own platform and necessarily has the means and ability to confirm if an individual is operating multiple accounts under aliases and to authenticate the identities of those who open accounts, and as set forth in the publications quoted Twitter does so on a regular basis,” the suit explains. “Given the extent of such monitoring and the prominence of Mr. O’Keefe’s account, the odds would appear infinitesimal that Twitter could have concluded, albeit erroneously and negligently, that Mr. O’Keefe was operating fake accounts and formulated and disseminated a statement explaining its supposed reason for banning Mr. O’Keefe on the very same day, and within hours, of his use of that account to publicize embarrassing disclosures concerning CNN.
“In fact, Twitter necessarily knew that its claim that Mr. O’Keefe operated fake accounts was false, or had information before it which would cause a reasonable person to harbor doubts as to truthfulness of the allegation that Mr. O’Keefe maintained fake accounts, when it made these claims on April 15, 2021.”
JAMES O’KEEFE VOWS TO SUE TWITTER FOR DEFAMATION AFTER BAN FOR ALLEGED USE OF ‘FAKE ACCOUNTS’
The filing adds: “Accusing Mr. O’Keefe of misleading his readership by using fake or fraudulent Twitter accounts is extremely damaging to his reputation and imputes general disqualification to do his job as an investigative journalist by lowering the credibility of his reporting and general reputation for veracity. All the damage suffered by Mr. O’Keefe was completely foreseeable on Twitter’s part, and, upon information and belief, was intended by them or came about as a result of their malicious, reckless, and negligent conduct.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Critics accused Twitter last week of protecting CNN with the timing of O’Keefe’s permanent suspension.
In the footage published by Project Veritas, CNN technical director Charles Chester claimed that CNN’s “focus” during the 2020 election campaign was to “get rid of” then-President Donald Trump, that the network hyped its coronavirus coverage for “gangbuster” ratings, and that it aims to “help” Black Lives Matter.
The videos generated embarrassing headlines for CNN, which maintains that it’s an unbiased network that treats Democrats and Republicans equally.
CLICK HERE TO
A spokesperson for Twitter previously told Fox News: “As outlined in our policy on platform manipulation and spam, ‘You can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts,’ and ‘you can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.'”
However, Twitter declined to comment further on which “fake accounts” O’Keefe allegedly used in violation of its policies.
In a separate inquiry to Twitter, Fox News asked whther anyone from CNN or TimeWarner Media reached out to the tech giant amid the #ExposeCNN campaign, as well as whether or not there was a request for Twitter to take action against O’Keefe and Project Veritas.