Senator Claire McCaskill’s campaign recently presented this letter to the Missouri Attorney General’s office, seeking an investigation of “possible felonies committed by Project Veritas.” Because the McCaskill complaint is so divorced from reality, we can only assume it is nothing more than a political stunt designed to save face.
Alleging illegal activity against journalists is a serious matter. As with all journalistic efforts, Project Veritas Action Fund’s newsgathering is protected by the First Amendment. Senator McCaskill should be a vigorous supporter of the First Amendment.
Regarding the letter’s central grievance, Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act is not designed to protect political campaigns from investigative journalists. As an attorney and former prosecutor, Senator McCaskill should know better than to subject the Missouri legal system to such an embarrassing and self-indulgent charade. She clearly is choosing political theater over her ethical responsibilities as a member of the Missouri Bar.
Misapplying Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act in this case would render it: the Missouri Incumbent Protection Act. Missouri has the full authority to protect its residents against con men posing as charities; but no authority to protect incumbent politicians from the roving eye of journalists seeking the truth.
Additionally, the incendiary diatribe directed at Veritas, coupled with the recitation of a series of frivolous lawsuits by other investigative report subjects, is only evidence that this is in fact a politically motivated attack, not a serious request of the Missouri Attorney General, who coincidentally is her opponent in her bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate.
The Senator was in such a hurry to take the heat off the mismanagement of her campaign and volunteers, the letter never references the actual organization that gathered and produced the stories that Senator McCaskill wished had never seen the light of day.
If the candidate is embarrassed by what was reported in our videos she should take that up with her staff. It’s their words that embarrassed her, not ours.
The Attorney General should chargeback the author of the McCaskill campaign’s complaint —a blatant attempt to politicize the Attorney General’s office for the benefit of her campaign—for any time they spent investigating and responding to it.
Founder and President
Project Veritas Action Fund