Project Veritas, a nonprofit organization known for its undercover investigations, is facing a period of upheaval after the organization’s founder, James O’Keefe, was removed from his position by the board of directors.
The Twitter account of Project Veritas lost more than 200,000 followers after O’Keefe’s removal.
“As of 3:20 a.m. ET, the account had lost more than 214,000 followers—nearly 192,000 on February 20 alone—according to figures from Social Blade, an analytics firm,” Newsweek reported Tuesday. “A real-time counter showed that, at the same time, the number of followers was still falling.”
The move also sparked concerns from the group’s donors, with many considering withdrawing their support.
According to a leaked email obtained by Jack Posobiec, Project Veritas is urging its donors to continue supporting the organization, according to a report from The Gateway Pundit.
“We hope that you might continue to give us a chance,” the email appealed to the organization’s donors. “We can’t stress how separate the board’s role is from daily operations here at PV. We are still grinding and pursuing stories of great public importance.”
You can read the email provided by Posopiec and Gateway Pundit below:
The email expressed that the board’s role is separate from the day-to-day operations of the organization and that Project Veritas is still working on pursuing stories that are of public importance.
The email also addressed O’Keefe’s removal from the organization, stating that he did not resign and was not fired by the board.
Instead, the board claimed that he was placed on temporary suspension until an audit was completed after allegations of using donations for private benefit.
The board wanted O’Keefe to delegate the management of staff to department heads so that he could focus on journalism and stories, rather than day-to-day personnel management.
Despite being invited to engage in conversations with the board and management, O’Keefe declined and requested that most of the officers and all of the board of directors resign immediately, the email says.
O’Keefe claims that he was indefinitely suspended from the board of directors during a meeting on February 10th and had his authority as CEO stripped away.
However, the board released a statement on February 15th, saying that “James has not been removed from Project Veritas” and that “James is the hardest working person I’ve ever met.” O’Keefe claims that he was asked to be gone until the 20th but that he has no position at Project Veritas based on the board’s actions.
O’Keefe has expressed uncertainty about his role at Project Veritas and why the board has been going directly to employees to collect grievances and discuss removing him from the organization.
He has stated that he will start anew and intends to pack up his personal effects from headquarters.
“So, I’m announcing to you all that today on President’s day — I’m packing up my personal effects from headquarters, and I’m intending to start anew,” O’Keefe said.
“I don’t have answers to why they’ve been doing what they’ve been doing, or why board members were going directly to employees to collect a list of grievances on the week of our biggest story ever. Or why our board members were going to employees directly to discuss removing me from Project Veritas – on the same week of our biggest story of all time.”
The situation at Project Veritas remains unclear, and it is unknown how the organization will move forward without its founder at the helm.
“I need to make clear I have not resigned from the company, Project Veritas, I founded 13 years ago,” O’Keefe tweeted on Monday. “I was stripped of my position as CEO and Chairman.”