IMPACT: Sen. McCaskill Fumbles Questions About Veritas Videos in Missouri Senate Debate

During the final debate between Senator Claire McCaskill and her opponent in Missouri, an audience member asked about our undercover videos (Part 1, McCaskill Hides Agenda from Moderate Voters; Part 2, McCaskill Campaign Receives Indirect Contributions from Planned Parenthood.) Below is a partial transcript:

AUDIENCE QUESTION:

“… And will you Senator McCaskill, vote for an all-out ban, like you said in last week’s Project Veritas video?”

MCCASKILL:

“Let me just say about the Veritas videos, there was nothing in those videos that were bad from my perspective because people in Missouri know where I stand on these issues. They got some kids behind closed doors talking about of school, big deal. I’ll tell you what was a big deal. They fraudulently embedded themselves in my campaign for weeks, for weeks, misrepresenting who they were. They got into our computers, proprietary information, for 20 hours. Who knows what they stole. They weren’t there to help me. They were there to help Josh Hawley. And the idea that a complaint has been filed with the Attorney General’s office, and when we called to ask about the complaint they said call the campaign. The Attorney Genreal’s office can not allow there to be a new normal that fraud can be committed in anybody’s campaign. I don’t care if its somebody I’m for or somebody I’m against. If somebody can come in and commit fraud and get in your computers and the Attorney General does nothing, that cannot be the new normal.”

 

HAWLEY:

“There’s the Washington two-step right there. Sen McCaskill is caught saying something on video, and she blames me. Her initial reaction was to accuse me of fraud. To accuse me personally, of fraud. Which is absolutely outrageous and totally not true. And then to ask the state of Missouri I guess to appoint a prosecutor with taxpayer money to go after her political opponents. Now I know its become fashionable on campuses for liberal democrats to shut down speakers they don’t like. But I have never heard of the state appointing a prosecutor with taxpayer money to go after a political opponent. And to accuse me, I just think, we’re at the desperation phase of Senator McCaskill’s campaign.”

 

MCCASKILL:

“You know, I’m not asking for – a lot of- by the way, he’s appointed special prosecutors all the time, he’s, his office there’s been three different articles written in the past wo weeks about the mess in his office. He’s in a hurry. He’s never even gone in a courtroom and tried a criminal case in his life. So maybe he should be appointing other prosecutors. But the point is that this was a FRAUD. This isn’t about the tape. People in Missouri know where I stand. I’ve done 52 town halls. I’ve walked anywhere in Missouri and said come on in ask me any question. I’m not afraid to tell anybody where I stand. I am afraid of an Attorney General that looks the other way when somebody comes in and steals proprietary information out of somebody’s computer.”

MODERATOR:

“Ms. McCaskill, do you blame Mr. Hawley’s campaign for that video?”

MCCASKILL:

“No, I don’t blame him for that video. But what I do blame him for is when a complaint is filed under the Merchandise Practicing Act, which he talks about and touts all the time, with a clear prima-facie case is laid out, that instead of immediately saying of course we’ll look into it, they refer us to his campaign. As if this was not a serious a matter. That’s what I’m complaining about.”

MODERATOR:

“And Mr. Hawley, did you campaign have anything to do with that video?”

HAWLEY:

“Absolutely not. And to accuse me of fraud, which is what Senator McCaskill did, she said that I committed fraud, that I participated in a fraud, she said that on television, I just…”

MCCaASKILL:

“I didn’t say that on television…”

HAWLEY:

“It’s on Color 10, the video is widely available, I’m sure its being sent even now. I invite you to look at the record. But these kind of desperate attacks are sad to see especially at the end, its been a long 36 year career for senator McCaskill. But I hope this isn’t the way she’s going to go out.”

 

To see video proof that Claire McCaskill accused Missouri AG Hawley of fraud, view the television program in question here.

Sen. McCaskill Falsely Accuses Missouri AG of Fraud

Veritas Attorney to Missouri AG: Reject Senator McCaskill’s Demands

View the original letter here. 

Dear Attorney General Hawley,

I represent James O’Keefe and Project Veritas Action Fund in connection with the demand letter sent to you on October 18, 2018, by lawyers for Senator Claire McCaskill and McCaskill for Missouri. For the following reasons, you should reject the Senator’s demands.

Senator McCaskill’s demand letter represents a desperate and disgraceful political stunt designed to manipulate the legal system for her political gain, at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.

Similarly offensive, Senator McCaskill appears eager to want to criminalize journalism that truthfully, completely, and accurately reported the Senator’s own words. The Press is not the enemy of the people, but, that appears to be exactly the message espoused by Senator McCaskill and her lawyers, in her letter to you. Now more than ever, an independent and free press is an essential pillar of our democracy.

Heavy on invective and light on thorough, accurate legal analysis, Senator McCaskill’s demand letter fails to establish any lawful basis for you to acquiesce to the Senator’s demands. Senator McCaskill’s invocation of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act is insidious as she twists the meaning of the Act to try and invent a crime. The Act, which makes false pretenses and misrepresentation “in connection with” the “solicitation of any funds for a charitable purpose” an unlawful practice, has no application here. Project Veritas Action Fund’s actions in this investigation were acts of journalism, not acts making fraudulent misrepresentations in fundraising.

As a threshold matter, Project Veritas Action Fund is not registered to do business in Missouri and is not registered as a charitable organization in Missouri. Further, Project Veritas Action Fund does not solicit funds for a charitable purpose in Missouri.

Next, Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act is designed to protect consumers and citizens from being defrauded. The law is not designed to protect deceptive political statements or political campaigns from investigative journalists. The Act was “designed to regulate the marketplace to the advantage of those traditionally thought to have unequal bargaining power as well as those who may fall victim to unfair business practices.” Huch v. Charter Commc’ns, Inc., 290 S.W.3d 721, 725 (Mo. banc 2009). The Act simply has no application to roaming reporters testing the veracity of political statements and campaigns. Laws like these are common in most states and protect against unscrupulous salesmen making false promises or non-existent charities from defrauding senior citizens. These laws do not apply to investigative journalists, even when they assume an identity.

Indeed, Missouri courts have applied the Act in a manner consistent with the above. Cases like Nixon v. RCT Development Association illustrate that the reach of this law is to protect citizens of Missouri from non-existent charities or ones making fraudulent claims in their solicitations. 290 S.W.3d 756 (Mo. Ct. App. 2009). Missouri has the full authority to protect its residents against conmen posing as charities. Missouri has no authority to protect incumbent politicians from the roving eye of curious reporters who accurately and completely report the words of incumbent politicians.

Finally, the First Amendment protects investigative journalists reporting about issues of public concern. State anti-fraud laws are properly used to protect against real fraud, not reporters digging up items of newsworthiness for the American public. The First Amendment stringently protects the freedom of Project Veritas Action Fund to assume identities and ask questions of incumbents and political staff members. This is protected at the bedrock of the First Amendment. Misapplying Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act here would turn the Act into the Missouri Incumbent Politician Protection Act and would stop all investigative journalists from providing salient information to voters across the state. The First Amendment protects Project Veritas Action Fund’s journalism here and any attempted prosecution based on misusing this law will fail.

The Senator continues to publicly protest much regarding her statements reported truthfully, completely, and accurately by Project Veritas Action Fund’s investigative journalist. In doing so, Senator McCaskill ensures this news story documenting her statements remains at the top of the journalism news cycle and continues to focus Missouri voters on her conduct, statements and voting record as exposed by the lawful journalism of Project Veritas Action Fund. It is the Senator’s choice to do so. You should reject, however, the Senator’s baseless demand for your recusal and meritless claim for an investigation.

I am surprised and disappointed – as many Missouri voters may be – that Senator McCaskill and her lawyer (a former prosecutor and former Chief of Staff and Counsel to Democratic Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, respectively) would take a position devoid of legal merit, in contravention of the protections of the First Amendment, and apparently designed to improperly influence the Missouri election to the Senator’s political benefit.

Sincerely,

Paul A. Calli

James O’Keefe: Senator McCaskill Should Be Embarrassed

View the original document here. 

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.

 

James O’Keefe

Founder and President

Project Veritas Action Fund

Local Missouri & National Media Blitz on McCaskill Undercover Videos

Below is just some of the news coverage following the release of undercover videos (Part 1, Part 2) exposing Senator Claire McCaskill and her campaign.

MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
KOMU News 8
KMBC 9
KFVS Hearland News
Hannity Talks to McCaskill Opponent About Undercover Videos

 

McCaskill Campaign “Essentially” Lies to Get Elected; Campaign Conceals Planned Parenthood Contributions, “donations through separate means”

[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]Campaign Staff: Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Directly “donate to Claire because they don’t want to ostracize pro-life Democrats in Missouri”
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]McCaskill Staff Confirms Planned Parenthood Still Contributes: “They put it through different organizations.”
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]Senator McCaskill Will “100%” Support Abortion, Is “very pro-choice” But Doesn’t Want to Appear “too far left to get the moderate voters.”
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]Staffer Agrees: McCaskill “essentially” Has to Lie to Get Elected

 

This is a breaking news story. Refresh the page for updates. 

(St. Louis) Project Veritas Action Fund has released a fourth undercover video from campaigns during this 2018 election season. This is the second report featuring staff from incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill’s campaign. It exposes how McCaskill contributions from Planned Parenthood are delivered indirectly in order to not alienate moderate or pro-life voters.

James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas Action said:

“Politicians are notorious for saying one thing during an election and then doing something entirely different once they are in office. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri has turned that practice into an art form.”

Planned Parenthood Making Indirect Contributions?

Campaign staffers working for Senator McCaskill explain how Planned Parenthood contributes to her campaign indirectly. Nicholas Starost, who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, alleges that Planned Parenthood does not outwardly support the campaign to avoid ostracizing moderate voters:

STAROST: “… Planned Parenthood will never donate money to Claire [McCaskill] even though she’s very pro-choice. because they don’t want to ostracize those pro-life democrats that might not vote for her, if there’s Planned Parenthood funding her.”

JOURNALIST: “So, they just, they just funnel it through Emily’s List?”

STAROST: “Probably. They go through other means to get us that money.”

Starost continued, saying Planned Parenthood “…put[s] it through like different organizations.” He added that most voters would not figure out this source of McCaskill’s campaign funds:

STAROST:  “Unless they go like deep, deep, deep down into a campaign, like finance. Which most people just do not.”

When asked if the intent of the scheme was to get contributions without disclosing Planned Parenthood’s name specifically, Starost says, “Yup… It’s f***ing beautiful… It’s great when it works for us and not against us.”

Another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, Grace Richardson, corroborates the Planned Parenthood contribution scheme is to protect McCaskill’s appeal to moderate voters:

JOURNALIST: “So, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that, that… thing Nick [Starost] was talking about the other day, that Planned Parenthood won’t donate to us.”

RICHARDSON: “Oh yeah.”

JOURNALIST: “I don’t understand why, I don’t get it.”

RICHARDSON: “I think it’s the same with Obama not endorsing any red state democrats, it’s so like…  It’s so that that democrat isn’t coming off as too leftist establishment.”

Richardson adds that even though Planned Parenthood is not publicly supporting Senator McCaskill, McCaskill will still “100%” work to support abortion rights.

RICHARDSON: “Yeah I think it’s like a tactic that’s to like make them not too far left to try to get the moderate voters.”

JOURNALIST: “But we’re still going to support abortion, right?”

RICHARDSON: “Yes. Yeah, 100%. It’s more of like them not… They go through other means to support and give money…”

Other individuals working on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, Melissa Balke and Darcy Becker, also spoke to the nature of Planned Parenthood’s contributions:

JOURNALIST: “Grace was telling me that while we don’t take donations from Planned Parenthood, we take donations from Planned Parenthood.”

BALKE: “Indirectly.”

 

BECKER: So it’s not that they don’t support Claire, it’s because of… They know it’s a tough state to win for a Democrat, and they don’t want to hurt her chances of winning it by donating money. Cause even some moderate Dems are pro-life. And even those Republicans that are gonna vote for Claire, cause they’re pretty moderate, she could lose them if Planned Parenthood donated money to her.”

Becker added that Planned Parenthood intentionally makes its contributions indirectly to Senator McCaskill “… because they know it could hurt [her] in the election.” Becker also believes Planned Parenthood doesn’t “…want to hurt her chances of getting those lean GOPs and the undecided [voters.]”

“… more progressive than she lets on?”

Balke and another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, Carson Pope, indicate that McCaskill is not as moderate as she purports to be:

JOURNALIST: “You were saying that you think [Senator McCaskill is] more progressive than she lets on?”

POPE: “Yeah.”

BALKE: “I think so too. I think she’s a lot more open-minded to taking like alternative routes to things but she can’t be open about that.”

JOURNALIST: “Why not?”

POPE: “Because this is a 19-point Trump state.”

BALKE: “Because she would completely isolate the moderate Republicans.”

More Elections…

This is the fourth release in a series Project Veritas Action Fund began publishing in October 2018 exposing dishonesty and unethical conduct in elections across the country. Project Veritas Action Fund will continue to publish undercover reports in this series.

View the other investigative reports in this series:

“People just can’t know that.” MO Sen. McCaskill Hides Agenda Including “semi-automatic rifle ban” from Moderate Voters, Staffers Reveal in Undercover Video it “could hurt her ability to get elected.”

[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]Senator McCaskill on Tape: “Of  course!” She Would Vote Yes on Gun Bans”
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]Campaign Staff Says: McCaskill supports “a semi-automatic rifle ban
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]McCaskill is Quiet on Gun Views “because she has a bunch of Republican voters,” Secretly Supports Gun Control Group
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]Staff: Wait Until After Election to Bring up Trump Impeachment; to Voters: “Get over it”
[icon size=”14″ icon=”icon-circle-full” display=”true” ][/icon]“People just can’t know” McCaskill and Obama “essentially have the same views on everything.”
This is a breaking news story. Refresh the page for updates. 

(St. Louis) Project Veritas Action Fund has released a third undercover video from campaigns during this 2018 election season. This report exposes how incumbent Senator McCaskill and individuals working on her campaign conceal their liberal views on issues in order to court moderate voters.

Said James O’Keefe, founder and president of Project Veritas Action:

“This undercover report shows just how broken our political system has become. Senator McCaskill hides her true views from voters because she knows they won’t like them.” 

Senator McCaskill Talks Gun Bans on Tape

Senator McCaskill revealed her intention to vote on various gun control measures in undercover footage:

MCCASKILL: “Well if we elect enough Democrats we’ll get some gun safety stuff done. They won’t let us vote on it, we’ve got 60 votes for a number of measures that would help with gun safety, but McConnell won’t let ’em come to the floor.”

JOURNALIST: “Like bump stocks, ARs and high capacity mags…?”

MCCASKILL: “Universal background checks, all of that… But if we have the kind of year I think we might have I think we could actually be in a position to get votes on this stuff on the floor and we’d get 60 [votes]…”

JOURNALIST: “So you would be on board with the bump stocks and… high capacity mags.”

MCCASKILL: “Of course! Of course!”

Despite her strong views on gun control, Senator McCaskill does not tend to promote them on the campaign trail or on her website. Rob Mills, who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, says that is “…because she has a bunch of Republican voters.”

Another individual who works on Senator McCaskill campaign, Carson Pope, adds that “…a semi-automatic rifle ban is more so what she would support.”

“People just can’t know that.”

According to Mills, Senator McCaskill conceals her support of Moms Demand Action, a gun control group, and other similar organizations because they would “…hurt her ability to get elected.”

MILLS: “But she doesn’t openly go out and support groups like ‘Mom’s Demand Action’ or just like other groups that are related to that. Because that could hurt, her ability to get elected. Because people like see that and they’re like well I don’t want to support her even though they stand for the same policies…”

MILLS: “She’s worked out stuff with Mom’s Demand Action to make sure that she can support their goals without supporting the organization openly. And you know, Mom’s Demand Action does the exact same thing. Like a lot of our volunteers are actually from there. She’s really good about strategy and making sure she has a goal and can get there.”

Nicolas Starost, another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, explains how President Obama won’t campaign for Senator McCaskill in Missouri despite their similar views on politics. Starost says this is because Senator McCaskill needs to distance herself from the Democratic party to appeal to more voters:

STAROST: “Because of how like, cause he’s a very liberal candidate. And like… Claire distancing herself from the party is gonna help her win more votes than it will saying like: “Oh here’s Obama, the former President of the United States, to now speak on my behalf.” Which is unfortunate because I love Obama to pieces, and I’d love to see him come here.”

JOURNALIST: “And they essentially have the same views on everything?”

STAROST: “Yeah. People just can’t know that.”

Impeachment

Another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, Glen Winfrey, explains plans for the impeachment of President Trump:

JOURNALIST: “So, here’s the real question, Claire holds off on impeachment to get the moderate. What do we tell the moderates when we drop the impeachment hammer afterward?”

WINFREY: “Get over it. It was a national security question. That information was confidential, and she did her duty by not revealing the information until afterward.”

 

More Elections…

This is the third release in a series Project Veritas Action Fund began publishing in October 2018 exposing dishonesty and unethical conduct in elections across the country. Project Veritas Action Fund will continue to publish undercover reports in this series.

View the other investigative reports in this series:

This is a breaking news story. Refresh the page for updates.