Project Veritas, the conservative activist group known for its undercover investigations, has announced the suspension of its operations. This decision comes on the heels of significant layoffs and challenges in fundraising efforts.
According to a report by Mediaite, the organization’s troubles began to escalate following the contentious ousting of its founder, James O’Keefe, a few months ago. O’Keefe’s removal from the organization was met with widespread disapproval, leading to a decline in the group’s popularity and support.
The report further highlights that the organization’s financial struggles became evident as fundraising campaigns failed to meet their targets. This, combined with the internal turmoil, has led to a series of layoffs, further destabilizing the group’s operations.
Project Veritas, since its inception, has been at the forefront of producing undercover videos targeting various organizations, often leading to significant controversies. The group’s modus operandi involved secretly recording conversations with individuals, which were then released to the public, often leading to significant media attention.
According to a letter titled “Reduction in Force” that was sent to Project Veritas staffers by HR director Jennifer Kiyak on Wednesday, the organization is putting all operations on pause amidst severe financial woes.
“In the interest of preserving the possible future existence of Project Veritas we need to put operations on pause and, as communicated since the Spring, another Reduction in Force (“RIF”) is necessary,” Kiyak wrote.
Six staffers were laid off from the embattled organization this week, sources said, including all remaining journalists and one development associate. One former Project Veritas staffer said just 11 people remain on the non-profit’s payroll, including CEO Hannah Giles.
Kiyak wrote in the letter that the group cannot “carry the present staff count any longer” and reminded those being laid off of their nondisclosure agreements.
O’Keefe, a conservative political activist, founded Project Veritas in 2010. Under his leadership, the organization gained notoriety for its undercover sting operations, targeting media organizations, politicians, and other entities, often leading to significant controversies.
Earlier this year, Project Veritas sued O’Keefe, alleging he breached his employment contract by starting a new business after his dismissal. Despite no longer compensating O’Keefe, Project Veritas sought a federal court’s intervention to prevent him from working and demanded the closure of his new business.