Security contractor Erik Prince reportedly recruited ex-spies to help Project Veritas infiltrate liberal groups
Erik Prince, a security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, recruited former spies to infiltrate various Democratic organizations — including a congressional campaign — multiple documents and interviews revealed.
One of the operatives recruited by Prince, a former M16 agent, ran a 2017 sting in which he copied files and recorded conversations from a Michigan office of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the country’s largest teachers unions, The New York Times reported.
The same operative also went undercover in now-Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s (D-Va.) congressional campaign. When the campaign discovered this, the agent was fired.
Both of the operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative news group that has gained notoriety as of late for running these kind of sting operations on news organizations, Democratic lawmakers and left-leaning advocacy groups.
Prince is the former head of Blackwater Worldwide and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. At times, he has served as an informal adviser to officials within the Trump administration.
According to the documents obtained by the Times, Prince started using former spies to train Project Veritas employees in espionage at some point during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Head of Project Veritas James O’Keefe declined to give detailed answers about Prince and the operations but called Project Veritas a “proud independent news organization” and said that it was currently conducting multiple investigations. He also told the Times that sources were “providing confidential documents, insights into internal processes and wearing hidden cameras to expose corruption and misconduct.”
“No one tells Project Veritas who or what to investigate,” he added.
Prince declined the Times’s request for comment. Prince is reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department over allegations that he lied to a congressional committee that was looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election and for allegedly violating American export laws.
Last month, Project Veritas released secretly recorded video of longtime ABC News correspondent David Wright being critical of the network’s political coverage. The video resulted in Wright’s suspension.
The Hill has reached out to Project Veritas for comment.