Judge upholds order to block New York Times from publishing Project Veritas documents

Justice Charles D. Wood of the New York Supreme Court 9th Judicial District has upheld his earlier order preventing the New York Times from further publishing documents between Project Veritas and its lawyers. The newspaper must also relinquish the group’s legal memos it possesses.

Previously, the newspaper reported that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Project Veritas months after the conservative group sued it in 2020. The investigation was done in connection with the theft of a diary belonging to President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley.

The Times quoted the memos for the story, causing Project Veritas to accuse the newspaper of violating attorney-client privilege.

Wood noted on his ruling that while aspects of Project Veritas, including its journalistic methods, may be of public interest, its attorney-client communications are not.

Publisher A.G. Sulzberger labeled the ruling an attack on press freedoms. “In defiance of law settled in the Pentagon Papers case, this judge has barred The Times from publishing information about a prominent and influential organization that was obtained legally in the ordinary course of reporting,” Sulzberger said, noting that there was no precedent for Justice Wood’s decision.

On the other hand, Project Veritas lawyer Elizabeth Locke hailed the ruling as “a victory for the First Amendment for all journalists” that affirmed “the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship” on Friday.

“The New York Times has long forgotten the meaning of the journalism it claims to espouse and has instead become a vehicle for the prosecution of a partisan political agenda,” Locke said.

“Today’s ruling affirms that the New York Times’ behavior was irregular and outside the boundaries of the law.”

The Times has said it would appeal the ruling.

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