The FBI will use the Ashley Brandon diary conviction to pursue Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe.
On Thursday the two individuals who found Ashley Brandon’s diary at a halfway house pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property.
The guilty plea of Florida pair Robert Kurlander, 58, and Aimee Harris, 40, will be used to turn the screws on James O’Keefe.
Harris found Ashley Brandon’s diary at a halfway house in Palm Beach in 2020 and sold it to Project Veritas for $40,000.
According to the Daily Mail, Ashely Brandon, Brandon’s youngest daughter, left her diary under a mattress at the Palm Beach rehab home.
In a January 2019 entry, Ashley Brandon recalled how she used to shower with her father, Brandon, and suggested it may have contributed to a sex addiction.
The diary describes Ashley and her father Brandon taking showers together at an inappropriate age.
“I have always been boy crazy,’ Ashley wrote. ‘Hyper-sexualized @ a young age … I remember somewhat being sexualized with [a family member]; I remember having sex with friends @ a young age; showers w/ my dad (probably not appropriate).’ she wrote in a January 2019 entry, according to the Daily Mail.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Robert Kurlander promised to help the FBI investigate James O’Keefe as part of a plea deal to cooperate with the DOJ:
Aimee Harris, 40, and Robert Kurlander, 58, admitted they took part in a conspiracy to transport stolen materials from Florida, where Ms. Brandon had been living, to New York, where Project Veritas has its headquarters.
Prosecutors said Mr. Kurlander agreed as part of a plea deal to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation into how the diary was acquired by Project Veritas, whose deceptive operations against liberal groups and traditional news organizations made it a favorite of former President Donald J. Trump.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan began the investigation in late October 2020, after it was alerted by Ms. Brandon’s lawyers that Project Veritas had demanded an interview with her father about the contents of the diary, which included embarrassing disclosures about them.
Breitbart News editor Joel Pollak argued that Project Veritas is protected under the First Amendment.
“First Amendment jurisprudence has established that news organizations cannot be prosecuted just because they publish materials that may have been obtained illegally — as long as they were not involved in the unlawful process of obtaining them.” Joel Pollak wrote.
“The key point of contention in the investigation may turn out to be whether Project Veritas was involved in instigating the theft of the diary, or if it simply obtained the diary independently of the process through which it was unlawfully obtained.” Pollak added.