James O'Keefe: I Was Harassed by Federal Agents

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 05:04 PM

By Courtney Coren and Kathleen Walter

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Journalist James O'Keefe tells Newsmax that the Justice Department monitoring of Associated Press reporters is similar to what he faced when he was investigating voter fraud during the 2012 elections.

O'Keefe's organization, Project Veritas, videotaped a man who nearly voted as Attorney General Eric Holder. A poll worker was about to hand over the attorney general's ballot.

"This spying on reporters is exactly what I faced when I did these voter-fraud investigations," O'Keefe said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV. "I had agents showing up at the homes of my friends, and I don't even know how they got their addresses and that's a very interesting thought. We had our emails shared potentially with members of the media.

"Again, this could have only come from the federal government," O'Keefe said.

O'Keefe is author of the new book "Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy."

"In my case, what I learned and the book talks about is how federal agents were working with state attorneys general and sending people to the homes of my videographers, state agents basically ordering a raid on the homes of my colleagues. It's really incredible stuff, and (they were) trying to indict us for doing journalism."

What he writes about in "Breakthrough," O’Keefe said, is "a precursor to all of these things happening" with the current controversies surrounding the Justice Department, the IRS, and the National Security Agency.

"Over the last few years, my colleagues and I have investigated voter fraud across the United States, labor unions, teachers unions, Medicaid. Our videos prompted state legislators to change laws, force resignations, force worker retraining, and the government retaliated," O'Keefe says.

"The Department of Justice, we have reason to believe, was leaking my emails to members of the media," said O'Keefe. "This book is really the story of what happened, and it's a hopeful book because it shows that ordinary citizens can make a difference."

On Tuesday, Project Veritas released undercover video of two corporate distributors of so-called “Obama Phones” — cell phones for the poor — handing them out to people who suggested they would sell them for drug money, to buy shoes and handbags, or to pay off their bills.

In some cases, people handing out the phones laughed at the remarks and advised recipients that it was OK to sell them.

O'Keefe says it's "more evidence of employees paid by your dollars behaving badly. We have a number of these employees telling us how to break the law, so it should be a great investigation."

When asked why he does not believe we're as free as we think we are, O'Keefe says: "We are not free people because we don't have information about the things that are happening around us. You see with the NSA, just a bit of information explodes onto the landscape and suddenly people make different decisions about who to elect and what they care about."

He says that he hopes "Breakthrough" will be to conservatives what "Saul Alinksy was to President Obama."

"This book is going to be for the next generation because it's a call to arms, and the first shot is not going to be fired by a gun. It's going to be shot with a video camera."

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