Donors bail on scam artist James O'Keefe for lying about his criminal record


James O’Keefe’s organization lost charity status in Mississippi after he lied to regulators about a criminal conviction. Now one of his big-name donors is pulling out.

James O’Keefe, the founder of the right-wing Project Veritas, is known for setting up "stings" against Democratic politicians and groups in which he tries to trick them into saying things that sound illegal while filming the whole thing.

This repulsive work has won him the admiration of Donald Trump, who donated $20,000 to Project Veritas from his now-defunct foundation after O'Keefe pitched him on an anti-Hillary video.

O’Keefe’s most recent project was to pay a woman to give the Washington Post a false rape accusation against Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore, so no one would believe his real accusers — a stunt that backfired spectacularly after Post reporters caught the woman walking into his office.


Being humiliated by the Washington Post, however, could be the least of his worries.

Two years ago, Mississippi revoked Project Veritas' charity status after learning O’Keefe lied to regulators about his criminal record. And on Monday, the Daily Beast reported that, after learning of this, one of his biggest donors is bailing on him.

The Chisholm Foundation, which has donated at least $136,000 to O’Keefe’s group since 2011, told the Daily Beast that it "recently learned that Project Veritas was de-registered as a charity in Mississippi … Irrespective of other possible concerns, the Chisholm Foundation will not be supporting Project Veritas in the future because it does not meet this basic standard."

As the foundation noted, Mississippi de-registered Project Veritas after discovering that the group had lied in its filings, claiming none of its officers had ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.

In fact, O’Keefe pleaded guilty in 2010 to misdemeanor entry of government property under false pretenses.

The criminal conviction stems from a botched 2010 plot in which O’Keefe and his associates infiltrated the office of former Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

And O’Keefe’s troubles could be just beginning. As the Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay noted, "Project Veritas has been the subject of similar disciplinary action in other states, including Utah, North Carolina, and most recently Florida. New York, where the group is based, has also threatened to revoke its charity status." As more states continue to punish Project Veritas, more donors may flee.

No part of O’Keefe’s work was even adjacent to journalism. He has always been a con artist who relied on deception. Unfortunately for him, deceiving the people who keep you in business comes at a heavy price.