Two days later, six liberal researchers from Stanford and the University of Washington in Seattle wrote a blog post calling the Project Veritas video a “national and coordinated elite disinformation campaign.”
The researchers, who are part of a group called the Election Integrity Partnership, followed the video’s release and argued that coordination between Project Veritas, the Trump campaign and political influencers made the video viral rather than of interest. organic.
Now Project Veritas is suing universities for libel, arguing that professors said the video was “debunked” without any evidence, in an attempt to damage Project Veritas’ reputation.
Stanford stands behind the blog post.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court on September 29, seeks financial damages and a court order banning the two universities from publishing any statement a judge would find defamatory.
“Despite its name, Stanford and the University of Washington’s Election Integrity Partnership are not dedicated to ensuring the integrity of elections or exposing fraud,” the lawsuit said. “On the contrary, since its inception, the purpose of the EIP has been to support Democratic candidates and politicians by seeking to silence the voice of conservatives and asserting to the public that there is no electoral fraud or d irregularities – and that any evidence of it is just malicious. propaganda disseminated by the political right.
The authors of the blog post – including Stanford researchers Isabella Garcia-Camargo, Elena Cryst and Alex Stamos, the former Facebook security chief – declined interviews with the Daily Post. Instead, Stanford spokesman Ernest Miranda issued a statement.
“Stanford supports the work of our researchers and their fundamental right to study and analyze political discourse,” he said. “We believe that the blog post in question is supported by facts, and we will vigorously defend academic freedom. “
Already, Project Veritas is in a legal battle with the New York Times over journalist Maggie Astor who publishes allegations similar to those of the Election Integrity Partnership. Astor posted on the blog post an hour after it was posted. She received a copy ahead of time and reported ahead of time, a Times spokesperson said.
Project Veritas alleges the Times and the research group coordinated to convince millions of people that the video was misleading.
Project Veritas released the video in question on September 27, 2020. The video is based on two named sources.
The first is Liban Mohamed, the older brother of an elected candidate for Minneapolis city council.
According to Project Veritas, Mohamed posted videos on Snapchat boasting in Somali that he had a car full of hundreds of ballots he collected from absent voters. The envelopes are unsealed and an anonymous person claims voters received money in exchange for their blank ballots.
The second named source is Omar Jamal, a political leader of the Somali American community in Minneapolis. In an interview, Jamal says there is widespread electoral fraud in his community and Representative Ilhan Omar’s campaign paid cash for the votes.
The Election Integrity Partnership blog post is not intended to demystify video, but rather to follow its spread across the Internet. But at the start of the blog post, the researchers wrote that the video “makes several falsifiable claims that have been refuted by subsequent reports or are without any factual backing.”
The Election Integrity post argues that right-wing activists including Donald Trump Jr. and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell coordinated to release the video. He calls on social media companies not to take more aggressive action against the video.
The video was released on the same day as a Times investigation into Trump’s taxes. Project Veritas says Times reporters had a vendetta because their investigation was overshadowed, and The Times reported that the video was released early due to Trump’s tax story.
Before taking legal action, Project Veritas asked Stanford and The Times to write down their stories and correct them, but the university and the newspaper are backing their reporting.
Stanford provides a platform for people from all political backgrounds. Election Integrity Partnership researchers are on the left and the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank made up of members such as Trump’s adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, is on the right.